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The Year 2001

The year began with a visit to Eindhoven Air Base. There were four Greek F-16s here which came to the Netherlands to train their air to air refueling qualities. After the FWIT in Leeuwarden, a great visit was brought to Etain-Rouvres in France. The Helidays at Bierset in Belgium were also visited. The Spotters Day at Kleine Brogel Air Base in Belgium was again one of the highlights of the year. After a rotation with Greek F-16s in Leeuwarden, an air show at Luxeuil les Bains was visited in the Eastern part of France. The Dutch Air Force days at Leeuwarden Air Base were the absolute highlight of the year. Frisian Flag was this year one of the better locations to end the year.


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The Greeks are Refuelling at the KDC-10

Air Refuelling Training; Eindhoven, March 5, 2001

The KDC-10 is the largest transport and tanker aircraft of the Royal Netherlands Air Force and can quickly transport large amounts of cargo and personnel over long distances. The KDC-10 is also widely used for refueling F-16s in flight. In the first week of March, four Greek F-16s practiced during the air to air refueling training with the Dutch KDC-10 to keep their skills up to date. The Greeks themselves have no tankers and are therefore dependent on another party for their training. The Dutch KDC-10 was used for the Greek qualifications.

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F-16 Weapon Instructor Training

The FWIT Course at Leeuwarden; Leeuwarden, March 8, 2001

The annual FWIT of 2001 started early this year. The FWIT training was already held in March where the training is normally held during the summer months. During the FWIT F-16 pilots and ground person- nel are trained to weapon instructors. The entire FWIT consists of an air to air phase and an air to ground phase. The exercise is annually organized by the no 323 Squadron which is stationed at Leeuwarden. The exercise was set up in collaboration with the Belgians, the Danes and the Norwegians who also fly the F-16 Fighting Falcon MLU.

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The Aérospatiale SA341/342 Gazelle

Gazelles in French Service; Etain-Rouvres, May 27, 2001

The Aerospatiale Gazelle is used by the French Army Aviation Compo- nent (ALAT). The Gazelle is mainly used as an anti-tank helicopter and is therefore armed with the Euromissile HOT missiles. A light support version of the Gazelle is equipped with a 20 mm cannon and is used for reconnaissance and support. The Aérospatiale Gazelle helicopter is often used for light transport duties, reconnaissance flights and light attack tasks. The helicopter is driven by a single turbine engine and was the first operational helicopter with a Fenestron tail rotor.

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The Bierset Helidays 2001

The Helidays and a Broken Camera; Liège-Bierset, June 2, 2001

On Saturday, June 2, 2001 and Sunday, June 3rd, 2001, the Helidays took place again at the Belgian airbase Liège-Bierset. During this edition a very short visit was made to the event. The air show this year was much smaller in size compared to the previous years. The number of pictures during this event was limited by bad luck with the camera gear. There were only a few Belgian helicopters photographed when the camera broke. Besides the Augusta A-109, Allouette II and BN-2 Islander, also the MD520 of the Belgian Gendarmerie was captured.

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The NATO Tiger Meet 2001

The Annual Spotters Day, part 1; Kleine-Brogel, June 19, 2001

The annual NATO Tiger Meet was this year held at the Belgian air base Kleine-Brogel. During the Tiger Meet also the traditional spotter’s day was organized. It's a tradition that during the Tiger Meet many aircraft are painted in tiger colors. This year there were many colored aircraft present from different NATO members. The spotters’ day at this airbase started as a small event in 1997. In four years, the spotters’ day became a big event that recurs every year at this airbase in Belgium. The event attracts more than 2,000 visitors each year.

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The NATO Tiger Meet 2001

The Annual Spotters Day, part 2; Kleine-Brogel, June 19, 2001

In four years, the spotter’s day at the Belgian air base Kleine-Brogel became a very big event which recurs every year at this airbase in the northern part of Belgium. The event attracts since it has grown to its present form more than 2,000 visitors each year and this number is growing steadily. The organization of the spotters’ day at Kleine-Brogel knows each year how to create the excellent photographic opportunity. The photographers are positioned in a prime location at the airbase making them able to catch the aircraft on the ground and in the air.

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Squadron Rotation 346 Mira

Greek F-16s Operating at Leeuwarden; Leeuwarden, June 25, 2001

In the period from June 18 until June 29, four Greek F-16s were participating in the local missions of the Dutch F-16s at Leeuwarden. The Greek F-16s were from the 346 Mira and were present during one of the squadron rotations with the Greek Air Force. The rotation of the host is the no 322 Squadron at Leeuwarden. The Greek 346 Mira is one of the F-16 units from the southern European country. The squadron was formed in 1990. This unit was when it was founded, the second Greek unit which would receive the new Block 30 F-16.

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Base Aérienne 116 Luxeuil-les-Bains

Home of Escadron de Chasse 4; Luxeuil, July 1, 2001

The French airbase Luxeuil is now home to a part of Escadron Chasse 4. Two of the three squadrons are stationed at this airbase. The last unit of EC4 is stationed at Istres-Le-Tube. Besides EC4 is also the small test unit CITac339 stationed at the airbase. This unit is testing procedures for the French AdlA. The French air base Luxeuil Saint-Sauveur is located in the east of France in the French region of Franche-Comte. The airbase is designated by the French Air Force as BA116. The airbase has two runways with a length of 2300 meters.

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The Luchtmacht Open Dagen, part 1

Fighter Aircraft in Europe; Leeuwarden July 6 & 7, 2001

Also this year, the traditional Air Force Days were held in the Nether- lands. This year edition the open house was organized by Leeuwarden Air Base in the northern part of the country. The Air Force days are always held on Fridays and Saturdays. Every year more than 200,000 spectators are visiting this large airshow event. During the air force days at Leeuwarden Air Base, there were many aircraft from the Netherlands and its partners present. During these days, many fighters were shown to the public. Many fighters are a familiar sight in Europe.

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The Luchtmacht Open Dagen, part 2

Fighter Aircraft in Europe; Leeuwarden July 6 & 7, 2001

In addition to today's modern aircraft, were also the aircraft of the fu- ture displayed at Leeuwarden during the open house. The Netherlands is currently in the selection process to find a successor to the almost outdated F-16. The European Eurofighter, the Swedish Gripen and the French Rafale were present at Leeuwarden. The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine aircraft with delta wing configuration with canards. In April 1986, the first European Aircraft Program EAP was produced in the factory in Warton. The EAP was very similar to the Eurofighter.

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Main Operating Base Volkel

The Largest F-16 Base in the Netherlands; Volkel, August 8, 2001

Nowadays Volkel Air Base in the Netherlands is the largest F-16 airbase of the country and contains three operational F-16 units. Volkel is together with Leeuwarden and Twenthe one of the Main Operating Bases of the Royal Netherlands Air Force. The F-16 is a multirole aircraft and was sent a few times to Yugoslavia. The 1st Tactical Fighter group was founded in Volkel in 1951. The group consisted of the no 311 Squadron and the no 312 Squadron. Later also the no 306 Squadron would operate from Volkel Air Base.

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Gilze-Rijen Family Day 2001

Getting Familiar with the RNLAF; Gilze-Rijen, August 10, 2001

On August 10, 2001, a family day was organized for the residents of the Gilze-Rijen Air Base. During this family day, a number of aircraft and helicopters were present at the airfield. A PC-7 of the no 131 Squadron gave a demo during this day. The demo F-16 gave a demo during this day as well. After these demonstrations an AB-412SP came in. A formation of F-16’s made a formation flight pass. The high- light of the day came is after this pass. The display team Biele-Albatrossie from Slovakia landed at Gilze-Rijen after these demos.

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Gilze-Rijen, Runway 28

Gilze-Rijen Air Base in 2001; Gilze-Rijen 2001

The year at Gilze-Rijen started capturing a number of helicopters of the THG-KLu. The gray Bo-105 Bölkow of the no 299 Squadron landed during Carnival at the town hall square at the Raadhuisplein. A P-3C Orion of the Dutch Navy made several approaches at the runway on March 24, 2001. There were also a Lynx and a Fokker 50 on the platform of the airbase. After the well-known PC-7s also the first operational AH-64D helicopter was captured at Gilze-Rijen. The year at Gilze-Rijen ended with the departure of Dutch Fokker 60.

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International Exercise Frisian Flag

Multinational Cooperation, part 1; Leeuwarden, October 17, 2001

Between October 15 and October 26, 2001, the exercise Frisian Flag 2001was held at Leeuwarden Air Base. In two weeks’ time, different scenarios were widely practiced. The scenarios were always adapted to the current situation in the world. To make the exercise realistic participants from various countries participated. The exercise Frisian Flag is in the Netherlands the successor to the exercise DIAWACS and DIATIT. These exercises were multinational exercises in collabo- ration with the European partners of the NATO and PfP partners.

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International Exercise Frisian Flag

Multinational Cooperation, part 2; Leeuwarden, October 17, 2001

During Frisian Flag there are more than 40 aircraft simultaneously in the air. These pilots don’t know the surroundings of the area. For that reason, there are during the exercise continuous two SAR helicopters on standby duty. The primary task of the no 303 Squadron is the search and rescue mission of combat pilots which are practicing at Vlieland, the Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation (ACMI) range in the North Sea and the Temporary Reserve Airspaces (TRA) north of the islands when they unexpectedly need to leave their aircraft.

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