Cazaux Air Base

Cazaux Air Base (French: Base aérienne 120 Cazaux) (ICAO: LFBC) is a French Air Force (French: Armée de l'Air) base. The base is located in the village of Cazaux, part of the town of La Teste-de-Buch, and is approximately 35 miles (56 km) southwest of Bordeaux.

Cazaux Air Base

Base aérienne 120
Airport typeMilitary
LocationCazaux (La Teste-de-Buch), Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France
Elevation AMSL84 ft / 26 m
Coordinates44°31′56″N 001°07′43″W / 44.53222°N 1.12861°W
Cazaux AB is located in Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Cazaux AB
Cazaux AB
Location of Cazaux Air Base in Nouvelle-Aquitaine
Direction Length Surface
ft m
06/24 7,900 2,408
Source:Our Airports[1]


The air base was created at the behest of Commandant Marzac. The site did not take the name of BA 120 until 1962, becoming the largest air base in France one hundred years after it was founded. The base is used mainly for training and integration of French fighter pilots and gunnery training over the Bay of Biscay.

The Franco-Belgian Alphajet aerial fighter school is based at Cazaux. It is responsible for training future fighter pilots of the two nations.

Since 1998, the base has hosted the No. 150 Squadron of the Republic of Singapore Air Force, equipped with ST Aerospace A-4SU Super Skyhawks, and since 15 November 2012, with Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Masters to train pilots before assigning Singaporeans to operational F-16C/D Fighting Falcons and F-15SG Strike Eagle units. As of March 2010, 120 pilots had been trained at the base.

Approximately 2,600 military and civilian personnel work on the base.

Units assigned

  • The operational transition Squadron 1/8 "Saintonge" on Alphajet. Based in Cazaux since 1964.
  • The operational transition Squadron AJeTS 2/8 "Nice" on Alphajet. Based in Cazaux since 1964.
  • The Helicopter Squadron 1/67 "Pyrenees" on Puma and EC725 Caracal . Based in Cazaux since 1972.
  • The Centre of Expertise in Embedded Arm (00 331 SEAC) which since 1 September 2009 replaces Experimentation Center and Shooting Instruction in Air (Ceita), which forms each year 200-250 French and foreign trainees
  • Group Instruction Flight Safety (GISV) of the National Gendarmerie from 1 September 2010.
  • A DGA test site in Flight (Formerly CEV Cazaux).
  • Technicians Training Center Safety of Air Force (CFTSAA) 00/308
  • No. 150 Squadron of the Republic of Singapore Air Force.


The airfield was created in 1914 in order to train French and Allied military pilots (fighters and bombers) and still exists as Base Aérienne 120 "Commandant Marzac".

Most of the American volunteer pilots of the Lafayette Escadrille came to the Cazaux camp to achieve their training as war pilots.

When the U.S. entered the war, the AEF (American Expeditionary Force) had several units based here, including the 36th Aero Squadron, two Balloon companies (36th and 45th) and Artillery observers.

A former French then Russian camp located 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from the airfield was "Camp Hunt", where infantry and artillery troops were trained before joining the Front.

Near this "Camp Hunt" a cemetery was established for American casualties; some of the pilots killed when serving at Cazaux were buried in this cemetery.

American presence

American Air Service pilots training was reinforced by the finishing course in aerial gunnery which permitted the American Air Service to give, under French supervision and direction, at French aerial gunnery school situated at Cazaux. This work, which commenced on December 1917, in a large measure neutralized the delay in getting an American aerial gunnery school into operation, and overcame the early difficulties caused by American lack of machine guns and ammunitions.[2]

This meant that after graduation pilots were given a full course in shooting from the air, either at Cazaux or the American school at St. Jean-de-Monts.

Luftwaffe use

After the French defeat Cazaux was used by Luftwaffe units from the summer of 1940 onwards. Several Training and Fighter units used the place, including the 1st group of the night fighter squadron NJG.2 or the 2nd and 3rd Fighter squadrons in Fighter Group JG26. Of the Destroyer Squad 1. Between spring 1943 and summer 1944, it was a target of allied air raids.

French Air Force

After German withdrawal French Air Force repaired the base, naming it Airfield R.51, and Cazaux was the home of the French bomber group GB 1/31 "Aunis" equipped with Ju-88 in the spring of 1945.[3]

In 1962/1963 the Bomber group 2/91 "Guyenne", previously been deployed in the Algerian war, was stationed briefly. This Group was replaced in 1964 by No 293, Escadron de Chasse 2/8 “Nice" equipped with Mystère IV, which merged with the local shooting center and henceforth operated two flying groups. From 1982 on, units based in Cazaux were equipped with Alpha Jets as the Ecole de Transition Opérationnelle (E.T.O.) since 1995. Currently theere are two training squadrons in Cazaux, 1/8 and 2/8. In June 2004 Belgian 11 Squadron, equipped with Alpha jets, was relocated to Cazaux, forming the French-Belgian Alpha Jet School (AJetS).

Also based at Cazaux is 1/67th Pyrenees Squadron, a combat search and rescue helicopter unit equipped with EC-725 Caracal.[4][5] This is a joint unit, so its pilots come from different armed services, but is assigned namely to the French Air Force.

Singapore Air Force presence

Cazaux Air Base is home to 150 Squadron RSAF and its personnel. The RSAF has conducted flying training in France since 1998, and both Air Forces also interact regularly through various professional exchanges and courses.[6] 150 Squadron currently operates M-346 aircraft that replaced A-4SU in fighter pilots training. The Landes forest, the target centre of Captieux and the aerial zones of Golfe de Gascogne offer all the necessary space for RSAF pilots training requirements which RSAF cannot find in Singapore.


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External links

11 Squadron (Belgium)

11 Squadron is a training squadron of the Belgian Air Component, deployed at Cazaux Air Base in France, in the scope of the Advanced Jet Training School (AJeTS).

The school closed on 11 October 2018.

8e Escadre de Chasse

The 8e Escadre de Chasse 8e EC or 8th Fighter Wing is a fighter formation of the Fighter Brigade of the French Air Force, which was reformed on August 25, 2015 at Cazaux Air Base.The unit has known previously various periods of activity:

On Aerial Base 108 Marignane, between January 1, 1936 and May 1, 1939;

In Indochina, between January 16, 1951 and July 27, 1954;

In Morocco, on Aerial Base 151 Rabat-Salé, between August 1, 1955 and November 1960

In Algeria on the base of Oran La Senia between November 1960 and July 1961

At Nancy Ochey between July 1961 and December 1, 1961

At Cazaux, between February 1, 1964 and July 1, 1993.

Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master

The Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master is a military twin-engine transonic trainer aircraft. Originally co-developed with Yakovlev as the Yak/AEM-130, the partnership was dissolved in 2000 and Alenia Aermacchi proceeded to separately develop the M-346 Master, while Yakolev continued work on the Yakovlev Yak-130. The first flight of the M-346 was performed in 2004. The type is currently operated by the air forces of Italy, Israel, Singapore, and Poland. Since 2016 the manufacturer became Leonardo-Finmeccanica as Alenia Aermacchi merged into the new Finmeccanica, finally rebranded as Leonardo in 2017.

Belgian Air Component

The Belgian Air Component (Dutch: Luchtcomponent, French: Composante air) is the air arm of the Belgian Armed Forces, and until January 2002 it was officially known as the Belgian Air Force (Dutch: Belgische Luchtmacht; French: Force aérienne belge). The Belgian military aviation was founded in 1909 and is one of the world's oldest air services.

The commander is Major General aviator Frederik Vansina, appointed on 23 July 2009.

Cazaux (disambiguation)

Cazaux may refer to:


Cazaux Air Base








Étang de Cazaux et de Sanguinet

Pierre Cazaux

Ray Cazaux


Denis Mercier

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Equipment of the Republic of Singapore Air Force

The equipment of the Republic of Singapore Air Force can be subdivided into: aircraft, helicopters, missiles, rockets, bombs and radars.

French Air Force

The French Air Force (French: Armée de l'Air Française) [aʀme də lɛʀ], literally Army of the Air) is the air force of the French Armed Forces. It was formed in 1909 as the Service Aéronautique, a service arm of the French Army, then was made an independent military arm in 1934. The number of aircraft in service with the French Air Force varies depending on source, however sources from the French Ministry of Defence give a figure of 658 aircraft in 2014. The French Air Force has 225 combat aircraft in service, with the majority being 117 Dassault Mirage 2000 and 108 Dassault Rafale. As of early 2017, the French Air Force employs a total of 41,160 regular personnel. The reserve element of the air force consisted of 5,187 personnel of the Operational Reserve.The Chief of Staff of the French Air Force (CEMAA) is a direct subordinate of the Chief of the Defence Staff (CEMA).

Jean-Paul Paloméros

Jean-Paul Paloméros (born 13 August 1953 in Paris) is a retired general of the French Air Force and served as Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, a senior military post in NATO. Paloméros previously served as Chief of Staff of the French Air Force from 2009 to 2012.

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List of French Air Force bases.

List of airports in France

Below is a list of airports in France, grouped by department and sorted by commune.

France is a country with its main territory in Western Europe, with several overseas territories and islands. The area known as Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean.

France is divided into 18 administrative regions, of which 13 are in metropolitan France (12 on the continent, plus Corsica) and 5 are overseas. The regions divided into 101 numbered departments which are in turn subdivided into 342 arrondissements (districts), 4,032 cantons, and 36,781 communes (municipalities).

List of countries with overseas military bases

This is a list of overseas military bases by country. The establishment of military bases abroad enable a country to project power, e.g. to conduct expeditionary warfare, and thereby influence events abroad. Depending on their size and infrastructure, they can be used as staging areas or for logistical, communications and intelligence support. Many conflicts throughout modern history have resulted in overseas military bases being established in large numbers by world powers and the existence of bases abroad has served countries having them in achieving political and military goals. The British Empire and other colonial powers established overseas military bases in many of their colonies during the First and Second World Wars, where useful, and actively sought rights to facilities where needed for strategic reasons. At one time, establishing coaling stations for naval ships was important. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union established military bases where they could within their respective spheres of influence, and actively sought influence where needed. More recently, the War on Terror has resulted in overseas military bases being established in the Middle East.

Whilst the overall number of overseas military bases has fallen since 1945, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States still possess or utilize a substantial number. Smaller numbers of overseas military bases are operated by China, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, and Turkey.

The United States is the largest operator of military bases abroad, with 38 "named bases" having active duty, national guard, reserve or civilian personnel as of September 30, 2014. Its largest, in terms of personnel, was Ramstein AB in Germany, with almost 9,200 personnel.


Martin-Baker Aircraft Co. Ltd. is a British manufacturer of ejection seats and safety-related equipment for aviation. The company's origins were originally as an aircraft manufacturer before becoming a pioneer in the field of ejection seats. The company's headquarters are in Higher Denham, Buckinghamshire, England with other sites in France, Italy and the United States.Martin-Baker supplies ejection seats for 93 air forces worldwide. Martin-Baker seats have been fitted into over 200 fixed-wing and rotary types with the most recent being the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II programme.

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Ng Eng Hen

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Patrick de Rousiers

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ST Aerospace A-4SU Super Skyhawk

The ST Aerospace A-4SU Super Skyhawk is a major upgrade project of the Douglas A-4S Skyhawk attack aircraft undertaken by Singapore Aircraft Industries (SAI, now ST Aerospace) in the 1980s. It was used exclusively by the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), serving in the fighter-bomber role from 1989 until retirement from front line service in 2005. Since mid-1999, the A-4SU took on the additional role of being the designated advanced jet trainer (AJT) aircraft for the RSAF's AJT training program/detachment in Cazaux, France.

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