Exercise reports

First Italian F-16 visit The Netherlands

By Frits Jongerman, Paul van den Hurk | May 2004
Exclusive report.

On May 26th 2004 for the first time an Italian F-16 visited the Netherlands. This time Volkel Air Base was the lucky base.

F-16B MM7269 arrived in the morning with callsign "I7269". The unit is 23 Grupo/5 Stormo from Cervia Air Base, a former F-104 unit. The two pilots were from 5 and 37 Stormo (Istrana AB).

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Under the programme 'Peace Caesar' the Italian Air Force replaced their Tornado F.3's by former USAF (AMARC) F-16's so they can fill the gap between the tired F-104's and the Eurofighter.

This F-16B (c/n 62-63) started his career in 1981 with the 56 TTW/MC at Mac Dill AFB and was later transferred to the 162 FW/Arizona ANG at Tucson IAP. In augustus 2000 the F-16 was placed at the AMARC and became AAFG0448. On 25 June 2003 the Viper was delivered to the Italian Air Force (5 Stormo).

To operate the new F-16s within the European coalition, it's necessary to be able to take fuel while in flight. As you probably know the Italian air force doesn't have a tanker with boom. So the F-16s wend to The Netherlands to certify there pilot's using the RNLAF KDC-10.

The F-16B left Volkel on May 27th under the same callsign. AviaMagazine was there. Note the small Italian squadron markings from 5 Stormo (Wing) and the two serials (Italian and former USAF).

Note two serials, including former USAF
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