Leeuwarden Air Base
Leeuwarden Air Base is one of the 2 Dutch F-16 air bases. The other is Volkel Air Base.
Defending Dutch airspace
Since 1 January 2017, the Netherlands and Belgium have been taking it in turns to monitor the airspace of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg (Benelux). F-16s intercept aircraft that do not identify themselves. The Dutch F-16s are on stand-by for this ‘Quick Reaction Alert’, either in Leeuwarden or in Volkel.
Training for missions
F-16s use Leeuwarden Air Base to train for missions all over the world, focusing on attacking ground targets and providing air defence. The training exercises are often conducted above the North Sea and the Vliehors training area on the island of Vlieland. They are also regularly conducted abroad.
The best F-16 pilots from all over Europe receive their Fighter Weapons Instructor Training at Leeuwarden Air Base, during which they learn all about the systems and weapons aboard F-16s, and about tactics. They then pass on this knowledge to other pilots in their units.