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From April 11th to 22nd about 70 aircraft from nine countries – Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain,
Norway, Poland, The Netherlands, United States - participated in Frisian Flag, being the largest air-to-air and
air-to-ground multinational NATO exercise in Western Europe this year. The exercise takes place annually and is
hosted by the Royal Netherlands Air Force at its Leeuwarden AB close to the Nort Sea.
Frisian Flag focuses on flying multi-national, large scale composite air operations (COMAO). The missions are carried out in high threat, electronic warfare and complex environments and are supported by AWACS and tanker aircraft. The challenge is not only planning, conducting and debriefing these missions, it is also managing different levels of skills and language along with a wide range of performance parameters of the participating types of aircraft. First time at Frisian Flag were British Tornados from of RAF Marham and French Mirage 2000D based at BA 133 Nancy-Ochey, both contributing their expertise in air-to-ground warfare to the exercise. The US Air National Guard (ANG) sent eight F-15 Eagles from the 131st Fighter Squadron, Massachusetts ANG and the 194th Fighter Squadron from the California ANG. Both units, under the designation of the 131st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron are part of the Operation Atlantic Resolve. They operate as theater security package (TSP) and conduct training with NATO allies and partner, in order to strengthen interoperability and demonstrate U.S. commitment to Europe. They will stay in Europe for several weeks.
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