Exercise Frisian Flag is one of the largest exercises of the NATO in the European region and was held from 13th to 24th April in the Dutch Airspace for this reason  6 nations with about 60 aircraft deployed  to Leeuwarden Airbase . In two waves every day with about 40 aircraft they train various scenarios over the North Sea. The focus of today's missions is international cooperation, leadership and coordination. Such exercises in international cooperation are important to master air defense tasks and international missions in the future. Parallel to Frisian Flag  this year the EART (European Air Refuelling training) was held again , with Tankers from Germany (A 310 MRTT), France (C135F), Italy (KC-767) and the Netherlands (KDC-10) also part of their exercise was the support of the FF15 Missions out of Eindhoven Air Base.

 


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The scenarios of Frisian Flag includes, Air defense missions, offensive missions, missions to protect other aircraft and the protecting or attack of targets on the ground and at sea. The Task of an air defense or CAP (Combat Air Patrol) mission is protecting  an certain area, for example, a No Fly zone against intruders, Aircraft which will enter the protected airspace would be intercepted and forced to leave the Area. Today's missions of NATO and its partners clearly demonstrate the importance of international cooperation such as the international missions in context of ISAF or the Airspace security over the Baltic States.After Landing each flown mission is analyzed and evaluated so that the pilots can use each flight optimally.


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Operation Atlantic Resolve

In light of the Russian intervention in Ukraine the United States launch Operation Atlantic Resolve. Through Operation Atlantic Resolve, the United States is demonstrating its continued commitment to collective security through a series of actions designed to reassure NATO allies and partners of America's dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region. For this reason the US. Air Force deployed 12 F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft and approximately 200 Airmen from the 125th Fighter Wing, Jacksonville, Florida and the 142nd Fighter Wing, Portland, Oregon as the first Air National Guard theater security package in Europe. While in Europe, the unit s conduct training alongside its NATO allies with the goal of strengthening interoperability and enhancing regional security. After their Participation at Frisian Flag at Leeuwarden they forward deployed to locations in Europe including Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria.


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The exercise was also supported by Cobham Aviation Services and Skyline Aviation who support the Missions with Electronic Warfare elements.

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Pictures © Bavarian Aviation Spotter 2015

Text: Manhart/EUCOM