A large French delegation at this years exercise

From Monday 9 April to Friday 20 April 2018, Leeuwarden AB in the Netherlands was again the center for the annual Frisian Flag exercise. Fighter aircraft from no less than six different countries trained intensively for two weeks. Twice a day, approximately 50 aircraft flew a mission.

Participating air forces and aircraft
The Royal Dutch Air Force participated with two F-16 squadrons.
The French had a large delegation with Rafales from St. Dizier and Mont-de-Marsan AB and Mirage 2000Ds from Nancy AB. The Germans, like every year, participated with Eurofighters. This time from Nörvenich and Wittmund AB. The Spanish Air Force was at Leeuwarden with Hornets from Zaragoza AB. The Polish Air Force came with five F-16s from Poznan AB and three Mig-29As from Minsk AB. Unfortunately, one of the Migs broke down upon arrival and didn’t fly anymore during Frisian Flag. Finally, the US Air Force was at Leeuwarden with twelve F-15s from the Oregon and Massachusetts Air National Guard. The Eagles were part of the Atlantic Resolve Security Package.

Red Air
In earlier editions of Frisian Flag, the participating countries rotated to play the role of enemy, the so-called “Red Air”. For the first time, German A-4 Skyhawks performed the duties of the aggressor. That proved to be a large advantage because the pilots could now get much more out of the exercise.

Air-to-air refueling
The air-to-air refueling during the exercise is done by tanker aircraft that operate from Eindhoven AB in the exercise “EART”. This year, the air-to-air refueling was provided by a Dutch KDC-10, an American KC-135, a German Airbus A-310 and a French KC-135.