LEEUWARDEN/EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands – From 1 to 12 April 2019, two international live-fly exercises will take place in the airspace over the Netherlands and over the adjacent North Sea with the goal of providing an operational context for diverse fighter and refuelling missions.
During Royal Netherlands Air Force-hosted exercise Frisian Flag and European Air Transport Command-hosted European Air Refuelling Training, Allies and Partners will fly their fighter aircraft and enabling air refuellers alongside each other – the best way to prepare pilots for deployment during operations.
Exercise Frisian Flag takes place in the airspace of the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark and brings to bear all capabilities of the different fighter aircraft to ensure preparedness for any kind of mission. More than 70 aircraft will deploy to Leeuwarden Air Base; around 50 aircraft will participate in each training mission, which will be flown twice a day. Experience gained during previous missions will be analysed extensively and applied during subsequent missions. Frisian Flag-type exercises have taken place more or less every year since 1992; in 1999 the exercise received its current name in reference to the province of Friesland, which is home to Leeuwarden Air Base.
Tied into Frisian Flag, the sixth edition of the European Air Refuelling Training or EART will provide coordinated air-to-air refuelling capabilities for fighter aircraft extending their range during flying missions. The European Air Transport Command members France ,Germany and the Netherlands as well as two non-members – the United States and the United Kingdom – will participate with tankers, crews and mentors, Italy will send mentors and the Royal Australian Air Force will observe the training. Among others, EART 19 will focus on tanker cell/stacked-up formation operations and tanker-to-tanker rendezvous procedures.
The tactics, techniques and procedures applied by the participants – all NATO members and Partners – will further increase interoperability, coordination, skills and professionalism of this enabling aspect of Allied air operations.
Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office based on information provided by Frisian Flag and EART Public Affairs Offices