2016 Event Review

Frisisan Flag, April 11th to 22nd, 2016
Location: Leeuwarden AB, The Netherlands
Admission: Closed to the general public, credentialed media only
Parking: N/A
Value: Excellent
Rating out of 10: Not an air show
B-1B from Dyess AFB, Red Flag 16-1


From April 11th to 22nd about 70 aircraft from nine countries – Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Norway, Poland, The Netherlands, United States, participated in Frisian Flag, being the largest air-to-air and air-to-ground multinational NATO exercise in Western Europe this year. The exercise takes place annually and is host by the Royal Netherlands Air Force at its Leeuwarden AB close to the North Sea. ).

Frisian Flag focuses on flying multi-national, large scale composite air operations (COMAO). The missions are carried out in high threat, electronic warfare and complex environments and are supported by AWACS and tanker aircraft. The challenge is not only planning, conducting and debriefing these missions, it is also managing different levels of skills and language along with a wide range of performance parameters of the participating types of aircraft. First time at Frisian Flag were British Tornados from of RAF Marham and French Mirage 2000D based at BA 133 Nancy-Ochey, both contributing their expertise in air-to-ground warfare to the exercise. The US Air National Guard (ANG) sent eight F-15 Eagles from the 131st Fighter Squadron, Massachusetts ANG and the 194th Fighter Squadron from the California ANG. Both units, under the designation of the 131st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron are part of the Operation Atlantic Resolve. They operate as theater security package (TSP) and conduct training with NATO allies and partner, in order to strengthen interoperability and demonstrate U.S. commitment to Europe. They will stay in Europe for several weeks.


The exercise included about 70 aircraft from the following units:

 F-16AM/BM Belgian Air Force 10th Wing

F/A-18C Finish Air Force HävLLv 31

Mirage 2000D French Ari Force 3rd Wing

EF2000/EF2000(T) German Air Force TaktLwG 31 \

F-16C Polish Air Force 31.BLT/6.elt

Tornado GR4 Royal Air Force No. 9 Sqn

F-16AM/BM Royal Netherlands Air Force 312th / 322nd Sqn

F-15C/D US Air National Guard 131st & 194th FS

C-130H Royal Netherlands Air Force 336 Sqn

Falcon 20ECM Royal Norwegian Air Force FEKS/717 skv

Falcon 20DC Great Britain Cobham Flight Inspection

C295M Finish Air Force TukiLLv/1.Flight

M-28B/PT Polish Air Force 8.BLTr (12.el)

C-130E Polish Air Force 33.BLTr (14.el)


Report and photography by Ralf P. Walter for

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