Dutch Experience Deja Vu All Over Again

The Royal Netherlands Air Force has graduated its first F-16 pilots since returning to Tucson, Ariz., late last year to resume training with the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162th Fighter Wing. Arriving last December, the Dutch squadron brought 14 of its own F-16s, aiming to qualify 10 new pilots annually and conduct pilot upgrade and instructor pilot training. “I’d give the program a grade of ‘excellent,'” said Lt. Col Doug Hadley, operations officer for Tucson’s 148th Fighter Squadron. “The jets are flying very well and we’re ahead on our student training line.” The Arizona Air Guard and RNLAF are under contract for 3,000 hours of flight training annually for at least the next three years. Prior to their return, the Dutch spent three years training with the Ohio Air Guard in Springfield. Before that, they had trained in Tucson for 18 years. (Tucson report by Maj. Gabe Johnson)