Frisian Flag & European Air Refuelling Training 2019 En
This year we had the honor to participate in the international military exercises Frisian Flag in the Netherlands. The Dutch, US, German, French and Polish armed forces took part in this exercise:
- 4x Mirage 2000D - France
- 8x Eurofighter - Germany
- 8x F-16C / D - Poland
- 16x F-16 - Netherlands
- 4x FA-18C / D - Switzerland
- 8x F-16C / D - USA
- 1x E-3A Sentry - NATO
- 1x DA-20EW - civilian
Exercises there are designed not to only train the behavior of pilots, but above all the cooperation of different nationalities in special combat scenarios, for this purpose sixty aircraft machines for two weeks took part in various scenarios, from defensive to offensive. One of the tasks of the combat machines was overtraining the refueling in the air.
Such refueling is a very important element in air combat strategy. Not only does it allow you to lengthen the flight, but above all, shorten the time of preparing the machine to take off and increase the efficiency of the machine, this action, contrary to appearances, reduces the training costs of aircraft, because you do not lose time to return to the base. For this purpose, planes from the Eindhoven base were used - tankers from the EART (European Air RefuelingTraining) program from EATC (European Air Transport Command):
- Dutch KDC-10 (Boom)
- British KC 30 METT (Pods)
- French C-135FR (Boom/BDA/Pods)
- American AF-Europe KC-135 (Boom)
- and German A-310 (Drogue)
Thanks to the invitation by EATC, we could take an active part in the refueling exercises of air fighters under the Frisian Flag. We had to go to the airbase in Eindhoven, where the press conference presented us with an action plan and the planned future of the organization.
After getting acquainted with the future plans of the organization and after the time set to ask questions, we were more familiar with the rules that prevail on the tanker. We were divided into groups that were assigned to various tankers, which we had to take a flight and see how it is done in the air.
The impressions from the Dutch tanker's flight were unforgettable, each refueling at the KDC-10 begins with a characteristic "boom", and our Polish armed forces were directed to our plane.
Before we looked at our left side, Polish hawks lined up, right next to the wing. It was an amazing experience, because we never had the opportunity to see F-16 from such a close distance, it also surprised us that although we flew a converted passenger plane, the flight seemed to be completely different, not reminiscent of an ordinary plane trip. The used passenger compartment for cargo transport intensified the experience of the flight, which makes it the only such experience.