Frisian Flag 2023

From 2 to 13 October, Leeuwarden Air Base will host the international exercise Frisian Flag. Approximately 40 aircraft and helicopters will participate in training missions, which will take place twice a day between 8:00 and 16:00. There will be no flights at night and during the weekend. The participants will arrive at the air base one week prior to the exercise.

The exercise will take place mainly over the North Sea, from the Dutch Wadden Islands to Denmark.

On land, at sea and in the air

Exercise Frisian Flag is about gaining experience in flying large-scale aerial combat.

Frisian Flag will include the following training missions:

  • Air defence missions. The aim is to deny enemy fighter aircraft access to a specific area.
  • Offensive (strike) missions.
  • Missions to protect other aircraft.
  • Missions to neutralise fixed and moving targets on the ground or at sea. Fighter aircraft operate independently or in concert with army or navy units (joint terminal attack controllers).

Participating countries and aircraft

Aircraft and helicopters from 7 countries will be participating in Frisian Flag. Most of these will operate out of Leeuwarden Air Base, while others will use their own base. A few ships will also take part in the exercise.

Country and type of aircraft


  • F-35A fighter aircraft;
  • F-16 fighter aircraft (from Volkel Air Base);
  • Apache combat helicopter;
  • C-130 transport aircraft.

Multinational Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) Unit will operate out of Eindhoven Air Base. A navy air defence and command frigate will take part from the North Sea.


  • F-16AM/BM fighter aircraft.


  • F-16 (from Danish home base).


  • EF-2000 (Eurofighter).


  • F-18 Hornet fighter aircraft.

United Kingdom

  • F-35B fighter aircraft from aircraft carrier, accompanied by other ships.

United States

  • F-35A fighter aircraft.

Air traffic control and organisation

The Dutch and Danish Control and Reporting Centre (CRC) will have command over the entire exercise area.

323 SQN/Air Combat Development Centre (ACDC) is responsible for the organisation of Frisian Flag, together with the expertise centre in the area of operations with (fighter) aircraft at Leeuwarden Air Base.