BAFARA, founded at COXYDE AIR FORCE BASE in the spring of 1968, is an association of
“Air Force Minded People”, who have a common interest in radio-
The Association is open to:
Active and retired military and civilian personnel serving or having served in the Air Component of the Belgian Military Defense Establishment..
Reserve personnel of the Air Component.
Draftsmen of the Belgian Air Force.
Personnel of the Medical Service, serving or having served in the Air Component.
Personnel of the other Components of the Belgian Defense Establishment, serving or having served in the Air Component.
Members of the Air Cadet Corps.
The radio amateurs of the former Air Force (now Air Component) where the pioneers, who started the Association after an initiative of the then Captain (later to be Colonel) Paul DE RO, ON4PD, who became the first president.
They were about fifteen operators and technicians, keen to promote their hobby in the Belgian Air Force. Their first club station obtained the call ON6AF. Their activities had in reality already started with their participation at the “Aerospace Electronics” fair at MELSBROEK Air Base in 1967. Similar activities were going to be the main purpose of ON6AF: participation at air meetings, open doors, expositions (like the Holiday Fair), promoting radio amateurism.
In the mean time the number of club stations had grown: ON6AP at the 10th Wing at KLEINE BROGEL, ON6BK at COXYDE AIR BASE and ON6CZ at ATCC SEMMERZAKE had been added, and in 1989 ON4BAF was started at the Royal Technical School of the Air Force at SAFFRAENBERG. This last station was of particular interest, as it is the ideal place to expose the candidate specialists in electronics to the hobby, especially in view of the declining number of young radio amateurs. Still later, a last club station , ON4BFS, was started at the 2th Wing in FLORENNES.
ON4PD remained in the presidential chair until September 1989. He was succeeded for about ten years by Marc Huyghe ON1HU (now ON4BAJ). The actual president is Pierre Thirifay, ON4TYP.
Lately, the members in the Royal Technical School of the Air Force in SAFFRAENBERG, took the initiative to start a close cooperation with the UBA-
This cooperation resulted already in the initiative to organize, in the framework of the ARISS program, a radio contact with the second Belgian astronaut Colonel (Flying) FRANK DE WINNE ON1DWN, during his projected space mission next November.