In 2006 the Dutch Ministery of Defence decided after a study to station 14 F-16AM/BM’s at Springfield Beckley MAP, Ohio to train Dutch pilots. The contract, signed on 8 December 2006, consist of joining the Formal Training Unit (FTU) which is part of the 178th FW. With this new training programme the advanced training programme which has been hosted by the 148th TFTS/148 FS at Tucson IAP for almost eighteen years will move to Ohio as well.
The Dutch squadron who will opperate the 14 Vipers will be 306 Squadron (ex. Volkel AB).
The 162 Fighter Squadron
At this moment, the 162 Fighter Squadron, 178 Fighter Wing is based at Springfield. Their
F-16C/D’s (block 30) are painted with very nice gougar-markings and wear the ‘OH’tailcode with a red/yellow chequered finstripe. As a result of BRAC, 168 FS will be reactivated and the current F-16C/D’s will be sent to other US units. The main task of the current 168 FS is training Air National Guard pilots. The Vipers will be maintained by mostly US servicemen. All of the F-16’s are ‘Mod.4’ (the last M4-modification).
On Monday April 16th, 6 F-16’s left Leeuwarden Air Base for a non stop ferry flight to Springfield, Ohio. F-16BM J-882 had a ground abort and was replaced by F-16BM J-369. All six aircraft were during delivery still in low viz 322 or 323 Sqn markings. At this moment we don’t know if the aircraft will be repainted (probably they will, like the F-16A/B’s at Tucson IAP). Time will tell!
This first batch consisted of 6 aircraft, followed by a second batch of 4 aircraft in week 26 and a final batch of 4 aircraft in week 39. So, totally 14 Vipers (9 F-16AM’s and 5 F-16BM’s) will be stationed for about three years in the States. After the departure of 12 F-16AM/BM’s to Chili (see our previous reports) and another 6 in June it will be very quiet!
The aircraft involved
|J-208||F-16BM||322 Sqn markings “NAF 81”|
|J-623||F-16AM||323 Sqn markings “NAF 82”|
|J-209||F-16BM||323 Sqn markings “NAF 83”|
|J-367||F-16AM||322 Sqn markings “NAF 84”|
|J-369||F-16BM||322 Sqn markings “NAF 85” (was spare for J-882)|
|J-010||F-16AM||322 Sqn markings ”NAF 86”|
|T-264||KDC-10||334 Sqn “NAF 49” dep from Eindhoven AB|
|Second batch: (serials not 100% sure!) week 26|
|Third batch: (serials not 100% sure!) week 39|