Frisian Flag and European Air-to-Air Refuelling Training
From 13 to 24 April 2015, the Netherlands hosted two major exercises: Frisian Flag -a major NATO fighter aircraft exercise- out of Leeuwarden Air Base and the European Air-to-Air Refuelling Training 2015, a training for air refueling units of a number of European countries. The tankers operating out of Eindhoven Air Base supplied fuel to the participating jets of Frisian Flag.
About 50 aircraft from six NATO nations were involved in this annual large scale, multinational exercise, that provides air combat training in a complex environment. It includes conditions that are likely to occur in a high intensity conflict. This year’s Frisian Flag saw the participation from Dutch and Polish F-16’s, German Eurofighters, Finnish and Spanish F/A-18’s, and ‘exotic’ F-15’s from the United States Florida and Oregon Air National Guard.
The overall aim of European Air-to-Air Refuelling Training (or EART) is to train air and ground crews to be able to run a tanker operation from a deployed operating base. This includes multi tanker formation and different rendezvous procedures, which is not possible in day to day operations. During EART, the crews have the unique possibility to gain or regain their qualifications in a short amount of time and within a realistic scenario. Participating countries were France (one C-135FR), Germany (one A310 MRTT), Italy (one KC-767A), and The Netherlands (one KDC-10).