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9 & 10 SEPTEMBER 2023 - Kleine-Brogel Air Base

Belgian Air Force F-16 "Viper" Demo Team

Belgian Air Force Senior Captain Steven De Vries, better known as “Vrieske”, is the first F-16 Pilot outside the US to have surpassed the 5,000 hours on the mighty Viper.

His first introduction to the F-16 was at the young age of 21, when he and his classmates received their F-16 conversion course at the OCU in Beauvechain, back in 1994.

In 1995 he started his operational career in the 23 ‘Devil’ Squadron at Kleine-Brogel, where he got introduced to the real deal. During his 7 year stay in  the 23rd Devil Squadron, where he reached his first milestone, ‘1000 flight hours’, he worked his way up to Force Leader and became a Weapon School Instructor in 2001.

When 23 Devil Squadron got disbanded in 2002, Vrieske and most of his squadron members were integrated in 31 Tiger Squadron.

As a Tiger he reached 2000 hours in the Ferry flight back from the Nato Tiger Meet in Turkey. During an Air to Air Weapons School Instruction Flight he reached the 3000 hours mark and his 4000 hours were documented as the first Flemish Pilot to reach this milestone.

On 5 March 2021, he breached the 5000 hour mark as the first non-US pilot in the world. However, he is the only one to have done it all in an operational squadron as a Combat Ready Pilot ever since he gained this status in 1995.

In October 2021 he was chosen as the new Belgian Display Pilot on F-16 for the seasons 2022-2024.

During his year as a demo pilot, he got awarded the Bill Hartree Trophy for the most entertaining flying display in Cosford and won the prize for best livery at RIAT 2022 in Fairford.

In 2023, he is back for more as the Belgian F-16 Solo Display Pilot and what better place is there to watch his amazing show than his home base, Kleine-Brogel?

Will you be able to follow in his footsteps and become the first F-35 pilot to reach 5000 hours in the cockpit?

Join the new generation!

Jobs @ Defence

Defense is recruiting - with hundreds of vacancies every year, Defense is one of the largest employers in the country! Check it out through this website
or via telephone number 0800 33348


For general information about the Belgian Air Force, consult the contactpage or contact us via email: 
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Fri 8 Sep: Spottersday!
Sat 9 Sep: Airshow
Sun 10 Sep: Airshow

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