RNLAF F-16 Deployments
25 Mar 2005
On next Tuesday, 29 March 2005, a detachment of four RNLAF F-16s from Leeuwarden AB will be deployed to Siauliai AB in Lithuania to defend the air space of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Since the three Baltic states joined NATO in March 2004, other NATO members are taking turns to carry out the air-policing task. The three states do not own any combat aircraft themselves, the most potent aircraft available is the unarmed L-39 jet trainer operated by Lithuania. Although there is no specific threat, the NATO treaty requires the policing of the air space of all its members. The 80-men detachment from the Netherlands will start the air-policing mission on 1 April 2005, relieving the Norwegian F-16 detachment, until 1 Jule 2005, when Germany takes over.
Yesterday, 24 March 2005, another detachment of four RNLAF F-16s left Volkel AB for Afghanistan, where they will be available to ISAF from 1 April 2005 onwards for the period of one year. The detachment of 100 personnel and F-16s will be temporarily based at Kabul airport, until reconstruction of infrastructure and preparations for the F-16s are finished at Bagram AB. During previous deployments, the F-16s were operated from Manas Internation Airport in Kyrgyzstan.