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Frisian Flag 1999

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Detailed information

From September 27th till October 8th excersise Frisian Flag was held at Leeuwarden AB, The Netherlands. This was the first time the excersise was held under this name. Started in 1992 as DIATIT and renamed DIAWACS between 1993 and 1996 because of participation of the E3 AWAC aircraft, this year the participation was larger then ever. It now has become a real Flag excersise, like Red Flag at Nellis AB, USA, or Maple Fag at Goose Bay, Canada. The Royal Netherlands Air Force and Leeuwarden wing is proud to be the host of Frisian Flag. The purpose of Frisian Flag is to train offensive and defensive Counter Air in a realistic, large scale, multi-national scenario. The emphasis is on effective integration of all availabe assets (ground, air ,sea).

This years participation consisted of:

  • RNethAF:
    12 x F-16AM (322Sq/323Sq)
    6 x F-16A (312sq)
    1 x KDC-10 (334Sq) from Eindhoven AB.
  • USAFE:
    6 x F-16C (23FS)
    8 x F-15C (493FS) from RAF Lakenheath
    8 x F-15E (48FW) from RAF Lakenheath
    2 x KC-135R (100ARW) from RAF Mildenhall
  • USNavy:
    2 x F-14B (VF102)
    2 x F/A-18C (VFA82)
    2 x F/A-18C (VFA86)
    2 x F/A-18C (VMFA251)
    2 x EA-6B (VAQ137)
  • RAF:
    6 x Tornado F3 (111Sq)
    4 x Tornado F3 (11Sq) from RAF Leeming
    1 x VC10 (10sq) from RAF Brize Norton
    1 x E-3D (8sq) from RAF Waddington
  • German Navy:
    4 x Tornado IDS (MFG2)
    4 x Tornado IDS (MFG2) from Eggebeck
  • German AF:
    2 x F-4F (JG71)
    2 x F-4F (JG72) from Hopsten.
  • NATO:
    1 x E-3A (NAEWF)
Total: 47 aircraft based at Leeuwarden 31 aircraft operating from homebases

Other participation consisted of:

  • Navy: 2-3 German en 2-4 RNethNavy Fregats
  • Airdefence: Patriot, Hawk, flycatcher, AAA, Stinger, GCI

A typical mission starts at 5.00 Zulu with a mass-briefing. Take off were scheduled betweeen 7.30Z and 9.00Z. At 10.30Z debriefings starts individual and at 13.30Z the mass debrief. On 14.15Z the bar opens... (the social component is very important!). Each afternoon a shadow-wave is available to train new pilots in tactics in this kind of scenarios.

Frisian Flag was held in the airspace between Scotland and northern Germany. This airspace was divided in two parts (FAOR's). The participating offensive aircraft (Blue Air) were to fly through this FAORs which were defended by Red Air (F15C's, F14B's, F16AM's simulating Su27and MiG29). There were two air refueling tracks (codename ESSO and SHELL). The Dutch Cornfield range was uses for live-bombing (up to 500LBS).

Star participation this year was from the USNavy. Ten aircraft flew from the aircraftcarrier USS J.F. Kennedy (CV 67/CVW-1) which was near Malta on its way from CONUS to the Adriatic Sea. The aircraft arrived on Sunday October 3th at Leeuwarden. Some Hornets making a fuelstop at RAF Mildenhall in the UK. They left on October 11th making a fuelstop at NAS Sigonella in Italy.

On October 6th a press and spottersday was held which resulted in following photo-report. The next Frisian Flag is scheduled to take place between September 4th and 15th 2000. Possible participants are the Finnish AF and Swiss AF. Both send a delagation this year to watch the operations.

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