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Day at the fence: Volkel and Eindhoven, February 14, 2018
Latest update: February 2018
Twice a year the F-16 squadrons of both Leeuwarden and Volkel are conducting live bombing training at the Vliehors range on the Wadden island Vliehors. The range is situated on the western part of the island and covers 17 square kilometers. Several targets (bomb, shooting and missile) are available on the range for aircraft of both the Royal Netherlands Air Force as well as NATO allies. The ministry of defence announces the periods of RNLAF live firing exercises on their website (as well as on their Dutch teletekst page 766).
The first week of the live bombing exercise in 2018 was scheduled from Monday February 12 until Friday February 16 with sorties set for the morning and afternoon with the exception of the Friday which only saw a morning mission planned.
Wednesday February 14 the weather forecast was sun for the entire day and should see Eindhoven Air Base receive four visitors, one USAFE C-37A and three French Air Force Alpha Jets.

Information about Royal Netherlands Air Force exercises can be found on the MoD website 'vliegbewegingen' and TT 766.
Photo gallery Volkel
The first F-16AM entering last chance around 10.00 and after completing the check list taxxies out to runway 24R.
With the first aircraft at last chance its heat exhaust prevents 'sharp' photos. Checks in progress by the second cell of F-16s. J-882 and its crew of two are ready to start their mission.
followed by their wingman a F-16AM

of 313 squadron.

F-16AM on loan from 322 squadron going direct for departure as his wingman already left (first F-16).
After approximately 1.20 - 1.30 hours all F-16s arrived back at Volkel landing on runway 24R.
The morning mission saw the launch of four F-16s which on most days is 'standard' for Volkel. Specially with the current deployment of aircraft and personal to Jordan (together with colleagues from Leeuwarden). Unfortunately none of the aircraft carried (one ore more) bombs which was the goal of the day. Another goal was J-882 which was flying the days before and was the second aircraft taxiing out. The F-16BM which is one of 10 remaining operational duals out of 36 once in service. Of the nine dual seat aircraft five are assigned to 148th FS based at Tucson IAP, Arizona. Three are assigned to the operational squadrons (312 and 313 at Volkel and 322 at Leeuwarden) and the last one to dedicated to test and evaluation of new (weapon) systems and known as Orange Jumper.

Orange Jumper at the Luchtmachtdagen at Leeuwarden in June 2016.

The F-16BM fleet suffered two mishaps with 'Orange Jumper' involved in a landing incident in November 2017 and one 148th FS assigned aircraft hitting a metal cable during a training flight over Arizona on February 11, 2018. The pilot managed to safely land his aircraft at Phoenix.

Volkel Air Base offers several spots to view or photograph aircraft. The official spotters / aviation enthusiast place can be used the entire day for viewing the action. It's located at runway 24R. For photography this spot is only good in the morning as the rest of the day you are facing the sun.
Photo gallery Eindhoven
C-37A (Gulfstream G-V) on the taxiing towards runway 21 departing back to Ramstein AB, Germany.
One of the French Air Force EIV 03.004
arriving at Eindhoven.
Resident 336 squadron C-130H.30 about to take-off.
With the second wave at Volkel normally taking of on the 13.30 - 14.00 timeframe decided to go to Eindhoven Air Base to watch the arrival of the expected three French Air Force Alpha Jets. Arrived just in time to capture the departure of the 76th Airlift Squadron C-37A which arrived in the morning. The Alpha Jets departed their home base Tours and went to Florennes AB, Belgium before continuing towards Eindhoven were they all made a full stop and were parked at the military east ramp. All three trainers had EIV 03.004 batches which is one of the units (wing) of EAC 00.314
Just after the last Alpha Jet landed one of the four Hercules operated by 336 squadron left.