Skip to comments.Dutch F-16 pilot training to return to Tucson
Posted on 05/03/2010 12:45:24 AM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
The Royal Netherlands Air Force will soon resume F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot training here at Tucson International Airport after a five-year absence.Dutch pilots were the first in a long line of international students to ever train with the 162nd Fighter Wing. Starting in 1989, they were a mainstay program at the Arizona Air National Guard unit for 18 years until they moved to Springfield, Ohio, for a five-year agreement to train with the Ohio Air National Guard's 178th Fighter Wing.
"We have a long and very successful history with the Dutch. We're looking forward to reestablishing our relationship with their air force," said Brig. Gen. Greg Stroud, 162nd Fighter Wing commander.
The details of their return, scheduled for January 2011, were the subject of discussion between wing and Dutch air force leaders during a site visit April 26-28.
The Dutch plan to base 14 of their own jets here to participate in basic F-16 training as well as advanced courses such as flight lead upgrade and instructor pilot certification.
In addition to student training, the 162nd will periodically host experienced Dutch pilots for operational training before deployments to Afghanistan; training opportunities similar to those offered at Operation Snowbird, a wing detachment at nearby Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
Their arrival will come on the heels of the departure of the United Arab Emirates' F-16 training program in December. The Emiratis, and their squadron of 13 F-16E/F Desert Falcons, will move to the UAE wrapping up a six-year stay at Tucson's airport.
(Excerpt) Read more at f-16.net ...
If I happen to run into any of these fine fellows in a local watering hole, the drinks will be on me, in honor of my Dutch great-uncle. He immigrated in the 1920’s and was a US Navy commander in World War II, working in intelligence, liaison, and translation.
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