Frisian Flag 2018
After my nightly visit to Leeuwarden Air Force Base in february, it was about time to head that way again for the annual Frisian Flag exercises. The exercise allways takes place at Leeuwarden, though other air bases facilitate supporting aircraft like tankers for air refueling and AWACS. For two weeks, around fifty aircraft takew off twice a day to practice all kinds of scenario’s which can happen in real life.
One of the goals of the exercise is to train the pilots of various countries to cooperate with one another. They have to cooperate more and more during missions, like in Irak and Syria. One of the exercises was about air raids on german airfields and head quarters. In an exercise like that the threat from Russia is a factor.The presence of three Polish MiG-29’s is an extra in this case. Also for the many spotters who are present, who like the aircraft partly for the smoke they produce.
The attending countries vary from year to year. The Netherlands are allways present as host country. Some countries are attend most of the times, where others attend every now and then. This is extra exciting for the spotters, since it is allways a surprise what kind of aircraft will attend this year. Especially aircraft that rarely visit the Netherlands are popular. And when they have a nice tail art, like the MiG’s and one of the Rafale’s, that’s helps a little more.
Below a list of the attending aircraft.
|Departs from||Quantity||Aircraft type||Origin||Remark|
|Leeuwarden AB, EHLW||8||EF2000||Germany, GAF|
|1||Falcon 20||United Kingdom||Jamming|
|12||F-15C/D||United States USAF||Oregon, USA - ANG|
|16||F-16AM/BM||Netherlands, RNLAF||312,313 & 322 squadron|
|5||Mirage 2000D||France FAF|
|8||Rafale B/C||France, FAF|
|Eindhoven AB, EHEH||1||C-130H||Netherlands, RNLAF||Support|
|1||C-135FR||France, FAF||EART - Aerial refuel|
|1||KC-767A||Italy, ItAF||EART - Aerial refuel|
|1||KDC-10||Netherlands, RNLAF||EART - Aerial refuel|
|1||A310-MRTT||Germany, GAF||EART - Aerial refuel|
|1||KC-135R||United States, USAF||EART - Aerial refuel|
|Wittmundhafen, ETNT||3||A-4N||Discovery Air Defence Services|
|Avord AB, LFOA||1||E-3F||France, FAF||AWACS|