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Frisian Flag 2019
Latest update: April 2019
The annual Royal Netherlands Air Force exercise Frisian Flag was held at Leeuwarden Air Base from April 1 until April 12.
Participants Frisian Flag 2019
Country: Aircraft: No. aircraft Squadron / Wing: Airbase: Comments:
France Mirage 2000D 4 EC 003 BA133 Nancy  
Germany EF-2000 7 TLG 31 Norvenich  
  EF-2000 1 TLG 71 Wittmund  
  EF-2000 2 TLG 74 euburg  
Netherlands F-16AM 10 312/313 squadron Volkel  
  F-16AM 8 322 squadron Leeuwarden  
Poland F-16C 7 6 ELT Poznan-Krzesiny  
  F-16D 1 6 ELT Poznan-Krzesiny  
Switzerland F/A-18C 4 11 Staffel Meiringen  
United States F-16C 10 179th FS/ 148th FW Duluth IAP MN ANG
Total   54
Country: Aircraft: No. aircraft Squadron / Wing: Airbase: Comments:
NATO E-3A 1 NAEW&CF Geilenkirchen  
Total   1
Country: Aircraft: No. aircraft Squadron / Wing: Airbase: Comments:
United Kingdom Falcon 20 1 Cobham    
Total   1

France: Mirage 2000D EC 003 Germany: EF-2000 Netherlands: F-16AM 312 squadron  
Netherlands: F-16AM 313 squadron Netherlands: F-16AM 322 squadron Poland: F-16C 6 ELT
Switzerland: F/A-18C Fliegerstaffel 11 United States: F-16C 179th FS, 148th FW  


The aircraft numbers above include spare aircraft for Germany, Netherlands, Poland and the USA. Cobham is a civilian contractor based in the United Kingdom contracted for Electronic Warfare (EW) services. Both the French and Swiss Air Forces assigned all their aircraft to the missions (except when an aircraft wasn't availble). As agreed with the exercise organizers.The Swiss Air Force aircraft departed on Tuesday April 9. 

United States:

From 2014 until 2018 the United States Air Force deployed an Expeditionary Fighter Squadron (EFS) consisting of two Air National Guard F-15C Eagle squadrons to Leeuwarden in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve for a period of six months. After taking part at Frisian Flag the Expeditionary Fighter Squadron continued their deployment and training assignment in eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Romania).

This year the ANG deployed one of its F-16 squadrons. The 179th FS / 148th FW MN ANG based at Duluth IAP Minnesota took at Frisian Flag. Ten F-16s crossed the Atlantic ocean arriving in two flights, five each on Friday and Saturday March 29/30. Before being assigned the F-16C/D the wing operated the F-16A/B.ADF (Air Defense Fighter) and was tasked with the defense of the US airspace together with a number of its sister wings. Except from operating from their home base the F-16A/B.ADF wings were also forward deployed at USAF bases along the eastern and western coasts.

Cancelled participants:

Country: Aircraft: No. aircraft Squadron / Wing: Airbase: Comments:
Poland Mig-29 0 1 or 41 ELT Minsk or Malbork Cancelled
Portugal F-16AM/BM 0 Esq 201/301 Monte Real Cancelled


The Portuguese Air Force will deployed its F-16s in support of the rotational NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission and cancelled its participation at Frisian Flag.

Support aircraft:

Country: Aircraft: No. aircraft Squadron / Wing: Airbase: Comments:
Poland C-295M 2 13 ELTr Krakow-Balice March 29
Switzerland Falcon 900EX-EASy 1 LTDB Dubendorf March 29
Total   3

Polish Air Force C-295M Swiss Air Force Falcon 900EX-EASy


Three USAF C-17s visited on March 28 (one) and March 27 (two). A Beech 1900D from the Swiss Air Force also visited on the 27th. Swiss Air Force transport aircraft - Beech 350, Beech 1900D, PC-24 - also made visits during the exercise as well as picking up personnel and equipment after completing their exercise.

German Air Force EF-2000s arrived - as usual - on Thursday March 28. Except the second cell consisting of five F-16Cs of the 179th FS (arrival Saturday March 30) all other participants arrived on Friday March 29.
Frisian Flag April 8 photo gallery
Runway 05 in use (take off and landing from Marssum towards Jelsum) the whole day. Photographs in order of appearance.
First flight, four RNLAF F-16s, lining up for departure. 
Swiss Hornets (fourth had a ground abort due to a deer in the runway) break to land.  The Swiss Air Force made its debut at Frisian Flag bringing four of its F/A-18Cs (25 on strength).
EC 003 returned with its Mirage 2000Ds.
Recovery of a flight of RNLAF F-16AMs.
J-197 wearing the batch of disbanded 315 squadron (other side 311 squadron). 
The Minnesota ANG return after completing their mission. 
6 ELT brought one of its F-16Ds to Leeuwarden. The Polish Air Force operates 12 dual seat F-16s. Flight of two RNLAF F-16s and two German Air Force EF-2000s on initial.
and the formation just before the break to land. 
An 148th FW F-16C on final approach with its colleague turning towards finals. 
Ten F-16s of the 148th FW crossed the ocean with eight assigned to the daily missions. 
An 322 squadron F-16AM about to land at his home base.  German Eurofighters in the approach pattern.  Three German Air Force Wings send aircraft to Leeuwarden including TLG 31. 
Another four-ship of RNLAF F-16s return from their mission.     
Polish Air Force F-16Cs in the break. 

One of the 6 ELT F-16s with a German AF EF-2000 in the background.

Also busy times for the Leeuwarden ATC crews often eight aircraft, four in the landing pattern and four on initial, in their control zone. 
A F-16AM assigned to 313 squadron returns to base.
Returning from a weekend visit to Zagreb, Croatia two 179th FS with travel pods underneath the wings returned . after the recovery of the first wave of Frisian Flag was concluded.
A RNLAF F-16 departs runway 05   photographed at the Jelsum side of the runway.
An ANG F-16 climbs away from Leeuwarden heading to the north. Recovery of the second wave in full swing.   
Swiss Hornet about to touchdown with an F-16 entering the circuit.     
An ANG F-16C with its air breaks deployed. 
  A Polish Viper to make a go around as it was to close on the number 2 of its formation.