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Year review 2017
 
Latest update: December 2017
 
Below you will find a selection of photos representing the military aviation year 2017.
 
Best of 2017
 
     
The 159 FW commander aircraft on finals during Frisian Flag 2017 at Leeuwarden Air Base. (See March). An 10th CAB HH-60M arriving at Eindhoven.  
(See October).
A Mexican Navy G550 rolling into its parking spot at Schiphol. (See August).
 
Only three photos for the 'best of 2017' which this year could have been a lot more.

1: The United States Air Force Air National Guard (ANG) has six F-15s squadrons assigned of which one is a dedicated training squadron for all F-15s squadrons. Since the start of the Theater Security Packages to Europe in 2015 the ANG provided twelve F-15 Eagles for the six month long deployments. All of the Eagle TSPs started at Leeuwarden Air Base participating at the Frisian Flag exercises. In 2017 the Florida ANG 159 FS / 125 FW visited for the second time after its first TSP deployment in 2015. The Eagles from the Louisiana ANG 122 FS / 159 FW deployed for the first time supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve - TSP.

2: The return of 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division based at Fort Drum, New York saw most of its helicopters return to the United States through Eindhoven Air Base. The HH-60M is the medical evacuation version of the UH-60M Black Hawk.

3: One of the highlights in 2017. In August a Mexican Navy Gulfstream G550 visited the Netherlands. It brought the minister of defense and high ranking navy personal for a visit to a ship building company currently working on a contract of the Mexican navy.
 
January
 
Aviation year 2017 was kicked off at Schiphol which saw a US Army Europe C-12U-3 from 1-214 Avn arrive on the 19th. A few days later it was followed by a RAF Voyager KC.2 from 10 / 101 squadron arriving in the fog. It picked up personal flown in on the 8th.
 
C-12U-3 from 1-214 Avn based at Wiesbaden. Schiphol January 19. Royal Air Force Voyager KC.2 based at RAF Brize Norton. Schiphol January 23.
 
February
 
The German Army took over the MINUSMA mission in Mali from the Defense Helicopter Command with had AH-64 Apaches and CH-47D Chinooks deployed. NH90-TTH and Tiger (EC665) helicopters were deployed to replace their Dutch colleagues. The Dutch MINUSMA mission provided by the Royal Netherlands Army had its 11 Luchtmobiele Brigade (Air Mobile Brigade - 11LM) deployed. Both armies are cooperating together in Mali. At the end of February 11LM held an exercise at the Leusderheide with KHR 36 providing two of its Tigers on a daily basis.

Both 298 and 300 squadron (CH-47D/F Chinook and AS.532U2 Cougar respectively) held a bambi bucket exercise on February 28th. The Cougar can carry 2.500 liter (5.500lbs) and the Chinook 10.000 liter (22.000lbs). Departing Gilze-Rijen with the bambi buckets attached the helicopters flew to the nearby Maas/Waal exercise area to start their training.
 
 
Tiger from KHR 36 providing Close Air Support (CAS) over and in the vicinity of the Leusderheid. 298 Squadron CH-47D with bambi bucket attached. Gilze-Rijen February 28th.
 
 
March
 
March 1st saw three transport aircraft at Eindhoven. Two A400Ms from LTG 62 German Air Force arrived and departed and from Portugal a C-295M came in. Schiphol saw another visit from a US Army Europe aircraft, this time a UC-35A assigned to 1-214 Avn.
The annual Royal Netherlands Air Force exercise Frisian Flag started at Monday March 27. As usual the Thursday and Friday are the main arrival days. Alike the previous two years the USAF Air National Guard started their TSP at Leeuwarden. More information and a photo gallery can be visited at: Frisian Flag 2017
On March 26 Schiphol welcomed military visitors again this time two Royal Navy Merlin HC3s.
 
 
A LTG 62 A400M departs with its colleague who just arrived taxies to its parking spot. The Portuguese C-295M about to touchdown at Eindhoven.
1-214 AVN has both the C-12U-3 and UC-35A assigned. The later is entering the ramp of Schiphol East on March 12.
     
   
An Eagle of the 122nd FS "Jazz" arrives back after the first FF2017 mission.   A Royal Navy Merlin HC3, still in Royal Air Force colors, departing Schiphol.
 
April
 
The European Air Refuelling Training (EART) exercise is also organized annually and runs simultaneously with Frisian Flag. France (C-135FR). Germany (A310MRTT), Italy (KC-767A) and The Netherlands (KDC-10) operated from Eindhoven conducting their own exercise / training needs as well as supporting their fighter colleagues from Frisian Flag with AAR.

Schiphol was visited by two C-40s. The first being a ANG C-40C (April 14), followed by a US Navy C-40A (April 29). In between a Royal Air Force A400M / Atlas C1 arrived and departed Eindhoven on April 19.
 
Besides the EART participants also two C-130s. A C-130H from Belgium and a Hercules (Tp.84) from the Swedish Air Force. Eindhoven April 4.  The German Air Force BMVg A310MRTT on its way for a EART mission. Eindhoven April 4. 
Following its colleague a French Air Force C-135FR taxies to the threshold of runway 21. Eindhoven April 4.
     
The ANG operates a number of C-40s in the executive transport role. 
Royal Air Force Atlas C1 (A400M) just before entering runway 03. 
US Navy reserve squadrons operate C-40A Clippers transported cargo and personnel around the globe. 
 
May
 
On May 2 the Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s returned home (to both Leeuwarden and Volkel) after completing NATO Baltic Air Policing rotation number 43 (2017-1) at Šiauliai Air Base in Lithuania. Both bases provided two F-16s for the mission. A Lithuanian Air Force C-27J supported the return by flying the ground crews back to first Leeuwarden and then Volkel. On May 4 - remembrance day in The Netherlands - the annual mission man formation was flown over former Soesterberg air base.
Two Spanish Air Force EF-18A Hornets visited Volkel to fly a mission with the based F-16s on May 17. Also one of the Belgian NH90-NFHs visited that day.
An US Navy Reserve C-130T visited Rotterdam at the end of the month.
 
A Lithuanian Air Force C-27J on approach to Volkel runway 06L. The RNLAF F-16s returned home in their
Quick Reaction Alert configuration.
 
     
Leeuwarden 322 squadron was tasked with the remembrance day 2017 mission man formation.
     
     
One of the resident Volkel F-16s during
take-off. 
The Spanish EF-18 Hornets turning to

final of runway 24R.

     
     
  A C-130T from VR-61 departing Rotterdam-The Haque airport on May 30.   
 
June
 
Schiphol welcomed another two visitors on June 13th. An AS5332L1 Super Puma from the French Air Force - only four of the type are operated by the FAF - was parked on Schiphol East apron. The same day a US Navy C-20H arrived. At the end of the month the Slovenian Air Force Falcon 2000 arrived.
Eindhoven accomodated to heavies on June 19 with a German Air Force A400M who are becoming a more regular sight and a Royal Air Force C-17A.
The European Air Transport Command (EATC) has its headquarters at Eindhoven. Besides planning and executing missions for its member nations it is host to the annual meeting of its members Air Force commanders.
 
One of the four AS332L1 parked at Schiphol East.
Arrival of the C-20G from VR-51 at Schiphol runway 22.
RAF 99 Squadron C-17A in the centenary 1917 - 2017 anniversary markings. departing Eindhoven.
     
 
Spanish Air Force Ce.560 Citation departing after the EATC meeting.   The French Air Force visited with a CN235
and a TBM-700.
     
   
Germany used a C-160D Transall and Italy send one of its P.180 Avanti's. Slovenia Falcon 2000. Schiphol June 29.
 
July
 
Geilenkirchen Air Base in Germany - home to the NATO fleet of the E-3A AWACS - organized an open house. As usual for the base the open day presents aircraft of NATO members only on static display. During the departure day the sun was out resulting in heath waves preventing good photo's for most of the day.
Rotterdam supported a Finnish Army NH90-TTH on its way back home after participating at RIAT 2017 (RAF Fairford) and saw the arrival of a US Navy C-40A. Volkel Air Base received four visitors on July 18th, an USAF C-17A from the 62nd AW and three RNLAF aircraft conducting training approaches and touch-and-goes.
 
The first aircraft to depart a Royal Netherlands Air Force KDC-10.

A rare sight are the C-130Hs from the Wyoming ANG. 

The Italian Air Force purchased two G550 CAEW. Its first aircraft was send to the Geilenkirchen open house.
     
 
An unmarked US Navy P-8A tacies out for departure. 

The RAF Sentry AEW.1 (E-3D AWACS) made a fly-by before departing to the UK.   
     
The C-40A on finals at Rotterdam-The Haque airport.  Fuel and lunch stop for the Finnish NH90-TTH.  C-17A from 62nd AW on final runway 24L at Volkel.
     
A C-130H Hercules from 336 squadron during one of its training approaches.  A dual F-16 from Leeuwarden 322 squadron made two approaches. A PC-7 from 131 (EMVO) squadron (not blinded canopy) also made an overshoot.
 
August
 
A Mexican Navy G550 visited Schiphol in relation to a visit by high ranking goverment and military officials.
 
Mexican Navy G550 on shor final at Schiphol August 14.
 
September
 
The Sanicole air show at Hechtel is always held in September. Fighter aircraft en supporting transport aircraft use nearby Kleine-Brogel Air Base. Photo's made at departure day which depending on the climb out rate can be challenging.

Annually the third Saturday of September World War II Operation Market Garden is commemorated. The last years 11 Luchtmobiele Brigade exercise Falcon Leap is held prior to the commemoration jumps. Every year the USAF participates with one ore more C-130s and the last editions saw USAFE 37th AS C-130J.30s and ANG C-130Hs. This year Air Education and Training Command deployed one of its C-130J-30s to the exercise. Furhermore two German AF C-160 Transall and a Polish Air Force C-295M participated. Operation commitments saw the RAF Hercules C.4/C.5 cancel for the Market Garden jump and the Royal Netherlands Air Force C-130H/C-130H.30 only fly the last day of Falcon Leap. The Defense Helicopter Command (DHC) supported 11LM 25th anniversart with a display of its AH-64D (two days), AS532.U2 Cougar (two days) and CH-47D (one day).

Air Forces Monthly published the Falcon Leap 2017 article in the December 2017 magazine.

Another Gulfstream G550. This time the first aircraft of the Polish Air Force which was just recently delivered to 1 BLOT at Warsaw. It visited Schiphol on September 19th.

On September 27th an exercise related to a dyke breach was organized by civilian and goverment agencies. It was supported by the DHC who send a CH-47F from 298 squadron. It was tasked to fly in sandbags to strenghten the dyke. On a nearby farners grassland personnel from the Dutch Army already delivered the bags which were readied by members of 11LM who are certified to attach sling loads to the Chinook and Cougars.
 
Polish Air Force Mig-29 departing after taking part in the flying display of Sanicole. The Swedish Gripen team was supported by a Tp.100C (Saab 340).
Team "Zeus" the Greek F-16 solo display received support from 356 MTM equipped with the C-130H Hercules.
     
     
  One of the two Saudi Air Force C-130s supporting the Saudi Hawk display team who went to Ostrava for their next show.   
     
   
62nd AS C-130J.30 normally engaged in Super Hercules training over the Ginkelse heide drop zone. Jumps from the Polish Air Force C-295M are made from the ramp.
 
From the other aircraft including the German Air Force Transalls jumps are made from the doors.
     
A DHC 301 squadron AH-64D showing its  Close Air Support role over the Ginkelse heide on September 14,
     
300 squadron Cougar (DHC) guarded by the Apache flying in equipment for 11 Luchtmobiele Brigade.
     
   
  First visit to The Netherlands by the brand new Polish Air Force G550.   
     
   
With one sling attached the Chinook approaches the 'delivery' zone. 
A few miles from the 'dyke breach' the sandbags were already laid down in packages so they could be quickly attached as one or dual sling load to the CH-47F.
 
October
 
Three military visitors on the same day at Schiphol on the 18th. The C-40C from 73rd AS (AFRC) departed that day while its US Army C-12U-3 colleague arrived for a short stop. Also a French Navy EMB-121AA arrived.

In October it was announced the United States requested The Netherlands to support the return of 10th Combat Aviation Brigade to the USA. Eindhoven Air Base was selected as supporting base for the helicopters before the final leg to the port of Rotterdam meaning most of 10th CAB roughly 80 deployed helicopters (AH-64D Apache, CH-47F Chinook, UH-60L/M and HH-60M Black Hawk) would transit throught The Netherlands. The announcement brought back memories of the first Gulf War. US Army Europe then (July 1991) flew more then 200 of its helicopters (AH-1F Cobra, AH-64A Apache, CH-47D Chinook, OH-58A/C Kiowa and OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, UH-1H Huey, UH-60A and EH-60C Black Hawk) to Valkenburg Naval Air Station before being shipped to Kuwait from Rotterdam).
The final day of 10th CAB relocation saw more visitors at Eindhoven with except the visit of a RNLAF Apache from nearby Gilze-Rijen an overshoot of an Belgian Air Component F-16BM, a Swedish Air Force Hercules and two Polish Air Force C-295Ms.
 
     
The C-40C being pushed back for departure on Schiphol East apron. US Army Europe 1-214 AVN C-12 taxiing out for departure.  French Navy Xingu rolling to to its parking spot at Schiphol East. 
     
     
  The French Xingu arriving at Schiphol with the US Army C-12U-3 parked in the rear.  
     
     
An AH-64D Apache from 1-501 AVN attached to 10th CAB turning onto the runway for its last hop to Rotterdam.
A CH-47F Chinook departing Eindhoven on Friday 27th. In total 18 helicopters departed or arrived and departed the air base. A UH-60L Black Hawk arriving at Eindhoven.

     
     
  One of the HH-60M medevac Black Hawks transiting through Eindhoven.   
     
     
Besides the many US Army helicopters Eindhoven also supported other flight like this overshoot of a RNLAF F-16.   As Gilze-Rijen is closed in the weekend and an Apache participated at an event on Saturday one landed at Eindhoven. The Belgian Air Component also visited with one of the F-16BMs performing an overshoot. 
     
     
The Swedish Air Force Hercules (Tp.84) made a quick stop and is about to depart.  The Polish Air Force send two of its C-295Ms with one seen landing on runway 03.  
 
November
 
November can be called Arabic month. It started early November with the arrival of two Boeing C-17As from the Qatari Air Force. The first arrived on November 4th followed by the second aircraft a day later. Weather wasn't well during their arrival but the sun was out on departure day November 7th.
At the end of the month, November 29th, the second batch of former Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s, sold to the air force of Jordan departed Volkel Air Base.
 
     
The C-17A who arrived on the 4th being towed to R-Apron on November 7th.  It's colleague was already parked there and waiting to be loaded.  The two Globemasters parked on romeo apron before departing back to Qatar. 
     
     
A F-16BM taxxies out for departure to Jordan at Volkel on November 29.  A Jordan Air Force F-16 taxxing for departure with a colleague taking off. One of the five F-16AMs delivered in the second batch departing for the last time.
 
December
 
Unfortunately weather wise December wasn't a good month with clouds dominating the skies for most of the month. A French Xingu paid a visit to Schiphol and two RAF Voyagers visited Eindhoven.
December 18th saw three different transport aircraft at Eindhoven. Arriving the day before was a NATO Heavy Arlift Wing C-17A which was the first to depart on the 18th. The German Air Force A400M arrived in the morning. It was equipped with hose and drogue under-wing refuelling pods). Soon after its departure one the of Belgian Air Components C-130H checked in on approach.
 
     
The HAW operates three C-17s and these are regular visitors at Eindhoven.


The latest A400Ms delivered to France, Germany and Spain are equipped with refuelling pods. Seen at Eindhoven is a German 'AAR' A400M.
Belgian Air Component C-130Hs are also regular traffic at Eindhoven. Assigned on an EATC transport mission of executing training for the Hercules crews.