- Air Force
RNLAF sites in The Netherlands
The Royal Netherlands Air Force has two F-16 bases of operations, one major helicopter base (in addition to two smaller ones), one air base for transport aircraft, one air operations centre for tactical air control and one guided weapons base.
In addition to these, there are two facilities charged with support tasks, i.e. one base for training, meteorology and logistics, and one knowledge centre dedicated to aviation science.
The RNLAF Headquarters are located in Breda. The Directorates for Operations, Materiel and Logistics, Personnel and Organisation, Planning and Control, ensure the operational deployability of the Air Force personnel and assets in support of the execution of the tasks that the RNLAF is charged with.
Volkel Air Base is an F-16 base of operations. The main tasks of the F-16s are air defence and providing air support. Patrolling and protecting the airspace over The Netherlands is another task, which is carried out in turns by Volkel Air Base and Leeuwarden Air Base on a 24/7 basis.
Leeuwarden Air Base is the other F-16 base of operations. In addition to this main feature, the base is also home to the search and rescue squadron, with AB-412 rescue helicopters that are ready on a 24/7 basis. These helicopters are deployed for rescuing pilots in distress at sea, or airlifting patients from sea vessels or the Wadden Islands (with the exception of the isle of Texel) to hospitals on the mainland.
This is the home of the Defence Helicopter Command (DHC), with its Apaches, Chinooks, Cougars and Alouettes all stationed here. With its helicopters, the DHC supports the entire Defence organisation, among others the Air Mobile Brigade, the Marine Corps, the Special Forces and Special Security Brigade of the Royal Marechaussee. It also provides support for UN and NATO operations in out-of-area deployment theatres.
Most of the transport fleet of the Royal Netherlands Air Force is stationed at Eindhoven Air Base: the (K)DC-10, the Fokker 50, the Hercules C-130 and the Gulfstream IV. The base has an important civil co-user, namely Eindhoven Airport. It is also the location of the NATO Movement Coordination Centre Europe (MCCE). This centre coordinates the requests from 23 participating nations for air transport in a wide range of operations, such as operational deployments, exercises and routine airlift missions.
South of Den Helder we find Naval Air Station De Kooy, home to the Lynx, the maritime helicopters of the Defence Helicopter Command. These helicopters patrol the maritime environment, using radar and sonar, carry troops and have a search-and-rescue role as well. Naval Air Station De Kooy has one civil co-user, namely Den Helder Airport.
The Air Operations Control Station Nieuw Milligen (AOCS NM) is home to the RNLAF tactical air control centre. AOCS NM is responsible for patrolling and coordinating the protection of the airspace over The Netherlands and NATO. AOCS NM is also tasked with the protection of military and civil air traffic in a number of assigned regions.
Apart from the usual tasks entrusted to each of the air bases of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, Woensdrecht Air Base is also responsible for the execution of tasks related to the presence of three Defence facilities at the base. These facilities provide services to the entire Air Force. They are: the RNLAF Training Command, the RNLAF Meteo Group and the RNLAF Logistics Division.
The RNLAF Centre for Man and Aviation (CML) in Soesterberg is a knowledge centre specialised in the medical aspects of aviation in the widest sense. The CML contributes to the training and education of flying personnel and carries out the aviation medicals. The CML’s training and education programs are also used by the RNLAF’s foreign counterparts.