31 Smaldeel

Tiger Unit Data

31 Smaldeel
Kleine Brogel, Belgium
Full Member
Member since 1962
F-16A/B MLU Fighting Falcon

31 Squadron was established on October 1, 1951 at Beauvechain. The same year it moved to Chièvres to form the 10th Wing. The squadron flew some 151 missions on the Spitfire XIV. The last flight on this aircraft took place on July 7, 1952. From this time there were no more aircraft assigned to the squadron, and the pilots were divided between 23 and 27 squadron. On September 1, 1953, 31 Squadron was reformed, and was assigned for "Instrument Flight" on the Lockheed T-33. By that time the first F-84G "Thunderjet" arrived, and taken to the air on October 29, 1953. By the end of 1955 the T-33 was taken out of service. In this period 31 Squadron was relocated several times. Finally on February 1, 1955 they were assigned to the Airbase at Kleine-Brogel, where they still are operating today.
In 1956 the "Thunderjet" was replaced by the F-84F "Thunderstreak". On July 19, 1962, 31 “Tiger” squadron took part of the "Tiger Meet" in Woodbridge (GBR) for the very first time. On March 9, 1964 the pilots began their conversion to F-104G "Starfighter". By September 1983 all F-104 were disbanded and the Belgian Air Force was fully operational on the F-16 "Fighting Falcon".
In September 1997, the Tigers from "Tree-One" exceeded 1.000 hours on F-16 over the territory of Bosnia. In 2002 the squadron grew in strength when a part of their life long foe's (23 Squadron 'Devils') joined up with 31 Squadron after their squadron was disbanded. This also resulted in the arrival of the first Mid-Life-Updated F-16's for the squadron.
In 2004, 31 Squadron flew some of the first NATO’s Baltic Air Policing missions in Lithuania. In the meantime the Tigers needed to prepare for their first missions over Afghanistan in July 2005. From 2007 till 2014, the Tigers of 31 Squadron, equipped with the Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod, JHMCS, GBU-38 JDAM and GBU-12 laser guided bombs, participated to the ISAF operation from Kandahar airbase. In 2011, during the deployment in Afghanistan, the Tigers also flew multiple combat missions over Libya reinforcing the no-fly zone and protecting the citizens. Since 2014, 31 Squadron is supporting the international coalition against ISIL by executing combat missions over Iraq and Syria. In 2016 the Tigers from “31” won the prestigious Silver Tiger Award for the 9th time in history, an all-time record.