NATO Conducts Aerial Warfare Exercise In Netherlands
NATO NATIONS TAKE PART IN EXERCISE FRISIAN FLAG 2014
Leeuwarden, THE NETHERLANDS: NATO and Partnership for Peace Air Forces are exercising offensive and defensive missions over The Netherlands as part of Exercise Frisian Flag. The Dutch exercise, which is based at Leeuwarden Airbase, has been underway since 31 March and will continue until 11 April 2014.
Apart from the air manoeuvres, this exercise shows the cooperation between the various tactical air commands and tactical air control agencies. “Carrying out such exercises in an international spectrum is necessary in order to ensure sustainment of effective execution of our air defence tasks and missions as in Afghanistan and over Libya,” said Colonel Gerbe Verhaaf, Commander of Leeuwarden Airbase.
About 50 aircraft are participating in the exercise and they are flying two missions a day. Apart from the F-16’s from the Royal Netherlands Air Force, Belgian, Danish, Norwegian and Portuguese Air Forces are also using their F-16s. Other participants are the German and Spanish Air Force with Eurofighters as well as the Finnish Air Force with F-18s. The (K)DC-10 tanker of the Royal Netherlands Air Force and the NATO AWACS are also taking part in the exercise as tanker aircraft and airborne radar platform, respectively.
NATO Response Force
NATO has achieved an unprecedented level of cohesiveness amongst allies and partner forces in the past decade of combat operations and is operating as a seamless integrated team. Therefore, specific training remains essential in order to prepare both pilots and ground crews for possible future deployments, for example within the framework of the NATO Immediate Response Force (IRF). The NATO Response Force is the ‘tip of the spear’ in terms of NATO’s ability to respond to an emerging crisis, which is why realistic and demanding exercises are essential in maintaining and enhancing the effectiveness of our deployable forces.
The missions that are being flown during Frisian Flag 2014 include air defence missions, offensive missions, missions to protect other aircraft (e.g. air transport, AWACS or other aircraft that do not have self-protection equipment) and the elimination of static and dynamic targets on the ground or at sea.
Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office
Photo courtesy of The Royal Netherlands Air Force