Like clockwork April is the scene of the Frisian Flag exercise being held at Leeuwarden airbase. This years edition saw the participation of a large contigent of F-16 operators. Next to the Dutch F-16’s from Volkel and Leeuwarden, Poland was present and the U.S. Air National Guard sent eight Vipers from Duluth airport in Minnesota. A change of type as previous years the mighty Eagle was present at this exercise. Next to that France sent 4 Mirage 2000D’s, Germany a bunch of Eurofighters and Switzerland sent F/A-18’s although they left the exercise early so those were not observed when GVR Aviation was present.
A recurring event in the agenda of most aviation enthusiasts on the Northwestern part of Europe is the Frisian Flag exercise at Leeuwarden airbase in the Frisia province of The Netherlands.
2017 saw another edition of Frisian Flag taking place during the last week or March and first week of April. Again with US participation in the shape of 8 F-15 Eagles from the Louisiana and Florida Air National Guard units.
The 2016 edition of Frisian Flag saw a diverse group participants. U.S. F-15’s operated next to RAF Tornado’s, French Mirage 2000’s, German Eurofighters, Finnish Hornets and Polish, Belgian and Dutch F-16’s. GVR Aviation was there to document all the action at this northernmost airbase.
April is traditionally the time when the northern Dutch airbase of Leeuwarden springs to life with activity when more than 40 fighters from various NATO and partner nations gather for the yearly Frisian Flag exercise. Among the participants were 12 F-15’s from two ANG units from the US.
In spite of severe cutbacks within most armed forces the Frisian Flag exercise attracted a nice variety of fighters to the northenmost Dutch airbase Leeuwarden. Including 4 French Mirage F-1CR’s which are due to be phased out next year.
After the 2011 edition of this exercise was cancelled due to commitments in Lybia, Leeuwarden AB in the Dutch province of Friesland was again scene to the Frisian Flag exercise which analogous to the US Red Flag exercise plays host to 50 fighters and support aircraft. Although fewer in numbers as Leeuwarden simply doesn’t have the tarmac to host more participants, it serves the same goal, namely to enable airforces to train and fight in a realistic environment.
Leeuwarden AB was again the scene of the Frisian Flag exercise and saw participation of a wide variety of types and nations. Highlights were the Polish F-16’s and the Finnish Hornets.
Frisian Flag can be called the Red Flag of the low countries due to its smaller size, but comparable goal. To train aircrew in conducting mulit-role missions in a realistic enviroment. The 2008 edition was held in April and May at Leeuwarden AB and GVR Aviation was there to get a glimpse of the action.