EINDHOVEN / VOLKEL – After weeks of unrest on Thursday, Russia decided to invade Ukraine, which means that it will also see more military aircraft fly over Brabant. In the coming days, more tankers will fly from Eindhoven to Eastern Europe to supply F-16 and F-35s in NATO’s airspace with petroleum.
Marleen van Amstel-Smits, Benedicte Bombala
With four military air bases in Eindhoven, Gilze-Rijen, Volkel, Woensdrecht and a Lieutenant General Best Barracks, the Ministry of Defense chose Brabant Province as the central location for military aviation.
“This is the first time that the defense has officially deployed aircraft in the current Ukraine crisis,” said Major Wilko ter Horst-Delstra, spokesman for the Royal Netherlands Air Force. “The aircraft are deployed under NATO command.” By so-called air police The Armed Forces monitors NATO airspace.
This time it can especially be done at the air bases in Eindhoven and Volkel. The tankers depart from Eindhoven to Eastern Europe, says Ter Horst-Delstra. “To ensure that the F-16s and F-35s can be refueled.” As a result, surgeries can be performed longer.
F16 also departs for Eastern Europe. Two F-16 fighter jets, stationed at Volkel Air Base, took off on Thursday afternoon to protect NATO airspace over Eastern Europe, the Ministry of Defense previously reported.
A total of eight aircraft were ready for deployment: F-16 from Volkel Air Base and F-35 from Leeuwarden Air Base. The different devices alternate. It was not announced when they would travel. “Because of security, we can not report anything about times,” Ter Horst-Delstra said.
Chinooks about West Brabant
Several people heard chinooks (transport helicopters) flying over West Brabant. According to Ter Horst-Delstra, these are not deployed in Eastern Europe, but serve other purposes.
“Daily training, transport, cooperation with the Royal Dutch Army,” he says. “A large water bag can be hung under it to put out fires or for troop transport. We can hang a car under it. This is done during exercises to transfer things from one person to another. Place to another place.”
It is not known how long the defense will guard NATO airspace: “As long as NATO needs us.”
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