End of F-16 operations at Dutch Air Base Leeuwarden

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With the arrival of the F-35 as a new fighter aircraft, the era of the F-16s at Leeuwarden Air Base ends. The ceremonial end of F-16 operations from the Frisian base is on 1 July. F-35s will still be stationed at Leeuwarden Air Base and the unmanned MQ-9 aircraft will follow later this year.

F-16 pilots and ground personnel from Leeuwarden will move to Volkel Air Base from 1 July. From this Brabant base, the Air Force will continue to fly with the F-16 until 2024. Then F-35s will also take over the tasks there.

From 1979

For 42 years, the F-16 protected Dutch airspace from its Frisian home base and was deployed worldwide for peace and security.

The 1st Dutch F-16 landed on 7 June 1979 at Leeuwarden Air Base. Then a formation of Starfighters, NF-5s and an F-16 also flew over the Frisian cities.

F-16 not yet out of the picture

After July 1, Leeuwarden Air Base will still be used for exercises with F-16s.

22 June 2021: a formation of 3 F-16’s flies the 11 city tour (here over the Afsluitdijk) as a tribute to their upcoming farewell to Leeuwarden as their home base.
Foto: Arnoud Schoor AP, MediaCentrum Defensie

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