- Air Force
- RNLAF sites
RNLAF personnel abroad
A large number of Air Force personnel are stationed in other countries at international bases and headquarters. They are there either for a particular training program and further education, or as representatives of the Royal Netherlands Air Force within a particular coalition.
An overview of the most important international postings of the RNLAF is listed hereafter.
The Netherlands Liaison Office Fort Bliss (US) is responsible for the coordination of training programs for personnel of the RNLAF Guided Weapons Group (GGW). This office provides support to personnel from the RNLAF Guided Weapons Group taking training courses and further education programs at Fort Bliss. In addition to that, the office exchanges information with the United States’ Surface and Air Missile counterparts on ground-based air defence.
At Fort Rucker (USA), the Dutch helicopter student pilots start out by taking the Initial Rotary Wing (IERW) program on a TH-67 training helicopter. Once they have completed this first part, they can proceed on three different courses, i.e. one for the AH-64 Apache, one for the CH-47 Chinook or the course for the UH-60 Blackhawk (specifically for students who will be flying the Cougar or NH90).
There are eight Dutch Apache combat helicopters stationed at Fort Hood. The helicopter student pilots who have successfully completed the AH-64 Apache training program at Fort Rucker proceed to take their Initial Qualification Training at Fort Hood. Once they are operational, the Apache helicopter pilots go back to Fort Hood for their operational currency training each year.
At Sheppard Air Force Base (USA), the pilots are trained as fighter pilots. The first part of the training program is on the T-6, with a follow-up training on the T-38C. On completion, the Dutch pilots go to Springfield for the F-16 qualification training.
Fourteen Dutch F-16s are stationed at Springfield Air National Guard Base (USA) for a number of specific F-16 training programs. The base provides initial F-16 qualification training, as a follow-up to the fighter pilot training program of Sheppard AFB. The Springfield facility also provides refresher training courses for other exchange pilots, RNLAF pilots who have not flown the F-16 for a while and training courses for pilots wishing to qualify as F-16 pilot instructors.
From 2009 on, a unit of 20 air crew from the Royal Netherlands Air Force has been posted to the NATO C-17 project at Pápa Air Base. The Netherlands is one of the 12 nations participating in the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC), a joint partnership. The operational branch of this capability, the so-called Heavy Air Wing (HAW) has acquired three C-17 aircraft that are stationed at Pápa Air Base. The Netherlands has purchased a total of 500 flying hours on an annual basis.
RNLAF personnel are assigned to Geilenkirchen to support the Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) aircraft of the NATO Early Warning Force (NAEWF).
RNLAF personnel are also assigned to the European Air Group (EAG), based at High Wycombe. The Netherlands is one of the 7 European nations that participate in this platform for operational cooperation. Through this partnership, the seven participating air forces aim to enhance their operational capabilities in the interest of the common goals of the group.
Just like the other service branches, the RNLAF has personnel posted at international headquarters and supporting commands, for example in Belgium, Germany, the US and Italy.
RNLAF personnel are also assigned to industry, for example in order to inspect the quality of products delivered to the RNLAF. A number of RNLAF officers and support staff are also stationed at Dutch Embassies abroad, i.a. as Defence or Air Attachés.