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NATO Allies and partners head home as exercise Frisian Flag concludes

A Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16AM takes off at Leeuwarden Air Base,  Netherlands during Frisian Flag April 9,  2018. Seven Allies and a NATO Airborne Warning & Control System flew together during the exercise,  practicising air tactics and procedures and improving their interoperability. (NATO photo by TSgt Cody H. Ramirez,  USAF)
LEEUWARDEN, The Netherlands –The annual Royal Netherlands' Air Force led live-fly exercise, Frisian Flag, wrapped up on Friday, Apr. 20, 2018 following two weeks of intense training designed to improve NATO allies and partners' operational capability. 

Frisian Flag, which took place in the skies over the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, required close coordination of all airspace control authorities from the countries involved. Meanwhile, command and control of aircraft was provided by Dutch and German Control and Reporting Centres (CRCs) as well as NATO AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) aircraft.  

"In these days the focus of missions is increasingly on international cooperation," said exercise supervisor Lieutenant Colonel Ronald van der Jagt. "Effective action is almost impossible without international coalitions; therefore, training in an international context is indispensable to enable our air defence tasks and international missions in the future." 

Frisian Flag featured over 60 aircraft and more than 1,000 personnel from the Royal Netherlands Air Force, France, Poland, Spain and the United States supported by NATO AWACS. 

Furthermore, the tanker exercise, European Air Refuelling Training or EART 18, which was held at Eindhoven Air Base, was integrated into Frisian Flag. Bringing together these two exercises resulted in realistic refuelling scenarios at the international level benefitting both fighter and tanker aircraft communities. 

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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