On the 7th of June 1979, the first F-16 from the Royal Netherlands Air Force touched down at Leeuwarden Air Base. Now 42 years later, the last based F-16s were scheduled to depart to their new home base Volkel on the 1st of July 2021. Although slightly delayed with a couple of days due to the accident on the flightline with a Belgian F-16 participating in the Weapon Instructor Course (WIC).
One F-16 received a full colour tail with the Frisian dragon and text ‘Last Flight F-16 Leeuwarden’. Full colour badges were applied on three other F-16s. Three of them can be seen on this page. The J-201 with the Transitie en Conversie Afdeling (TCA) batch did unfortunately not fly during my visits.
On Monday the 5th of June the last F-16s took off from Leeuwarden heading towards their new homebase from where they will continue to serve with 312 Squadron for another couple of years.
The flights on the 5th of June concluded the F-16 operations with 322 Squadron. With the first Lockheed F-35A Lightning II fighters as the new kid on the block already at Leeuwarden, 322 Squadron will continue as the first F-35A squadron.
Although it is not the end of F-16 operations at Leeuwarden Air Base. F-16’s are still participating in the Weapon Instructor Courses and Frisian Flag exercises.