Frisian Flag 2017
From 27th of March till the 7th of April the 2017 edition of the full scale exercise “Frisian Flag” is taking place and is organized at Leeuwarden Air Base, The Netherlands. The exercise is conducted for two weeks in several designated areas over the North Sea to work out large complex missions with +/- 40 fighter jets, tankers and AWACS radar aircraft.
During this edition of the Frisian Flag eight different NATO allies participated in the exercise; The Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, United Kingdom and the United States.
It is important that the pilots from all the different countries train together and to get used to each other during the missions. The exercise focuses on international coörporation, precision and the leadership skills from the participating NATO squadrons, to prepare the pilots for future coöperative operations within NATO.
In order to create a realistic enviroment, several scenarios are plotted and prepared by the air crews. Twice a day missions are prepared and flown by waves of +/- 40 aircraft from Leeuwarden Air Base situated in the north of The Netherlands and close to the North Sea training area’s.
The aircrews have to prepare and execute specific scenario’s vary from air interdiction missions preventing hortile air forces to enter a designated area to attacking specified ground targets coörperating with forward air controllers both on land or at sea. During these missions the mission leader has to plan and execute the mission against these targets while minimize loses.
In addition to the participating NATO members, United States Air Force (USAF) F-15’s from the Florida and Louisiana Air National Guard (ANG) also participated in the exercise. After the exercise the F-15’s will stay in Europe to continue the USAF presence as part of the expeditionary force Atlantic Resolve.
Participating units during Frisian Flag 2016:
7x Belgium Air Force F-16
4x Portugeze Air Force F-16
4x French Air Force Mirage 2000D EC3
10 German Air force EF-2000 TaktLwG 31
6x Royal Air force Tornado GR4 Marham Wing
8x Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16
6x United States Air Force F-15C/D 122 FS Louisiana ANG
6x United States Air Force F-15C/D 159 FS Florida ANG
Simultaneous to the Frisian Flag exercise, European Air Refueling Training (EART) exercise is taking place at Eindhoven Air Base, the Netherlands. This enables the tanker crews to train to refuel different types of aircraft and enables the participants of Frisian Flag to refuel from a variety of tankers. The tankers also fly their missions twice a day in order to refuel the participating aircraft.
Participating tankers operating from Eindhoven Air Base are:
French Air Force C-135
Italian Air Force KC-767
Netherlands Air Force KDC-10
German Air Force A-310MRTT