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Exercise Frisian Flag
Latest update: March 2022
Exercise Frisian Flag traces its heritage back to exercises DIATIT and DIAWACS held at Leeuwarden air base in the 1990s. At that time Volkel air base also organized exercises like VOLKIT held in 1992 (which saw U.S. Navy squadrons participate with the F-14B Tomcat and F/A-18C Hornet). The Royal Netherlands Air Force decided to organize one annual exercise aimed to train its fighter pilots. Frisian Flag was born and saw its first edition held in 1999. With a few exceptions, see table, the exercise has been organized annually for a period of two weeks. In the early years in September and October, from 2007 Frisian Flag is held in March and/or April depending on the date of Easter. Most participants operate out of Leeuwarden air base with the exception of E-3 AWACS aircraft and tanker aircraft. 

The European Air Transport Command organized its European Air Refuelling Training (EART) exercise from 2014 until 2019 at Eindhoven air base. The participating tankers flew missions in support of Frisian Flag aircraft as well as flying their own training objectives.
Frisian Flag
Frisian Flag participants 2020 - 2029 Frisian Flag participants 2010 - 2019 Frisian Flag participants 1999 - 2009
Frisian Flag no. exercises and dates Frisian Flag participants by year Frisian Flag participants photo gallery
Frisian Flag graphics Frisian Flag information  


Frisian Flag 2021: Cancelled because of COVID-19 and the road to IOC (R2IOC) and other unnamed reasons resulted in the cancellation of the exercise the base announced on November 9, 2020.

Frisian Flag 2020: Cancelled because of COVID-19. The exercise was planned to run from March 23 until April 3, 2020. The exercise hosted by Leeuwarden Air Base in the province of Friesland is supported by other units stationed in other provinces. The Department of Defence took meassures to prevent the pread of the coronavirus in the Netherlands. The RNLAF had to safeguard its operational tasks which includes the QRA (airspace surveillance).

Frisian Flag 2010: As a result of the volcanic eruptions in Iceland (glacier Eyjafjallajökull, March and April 2010) Frisian Flag was terminated earlier.


Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States.

F-15 (Strike) Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F/A-18 (Super) Hornet / EA-18 Growler, EF-2000 / Typhoon, MiG-29 Fulcrum, Mirage 2000, Rafale, Tornado, C-17 Globemaster III, C-130 (Super) Hercules, C-160 Transall, C-295, Falcon 900, E-3 AWACS.