Netherlands Armed Forces Led Exercise Deviant Dragon Trains Allied Fighter Units
Netherlands Armed Forces Led Exercise Deviant Dragon Trains Allied Fighter Units

Netherlands Armed Forces Led Exercise Deviant Dragon Trains Allied Fighter Units

From April 12 to 23, the Royal Netherlands Air Force is hosting the multi-domain live-fly exercise Deviant Dragon 21 off the Dutch coast, providing joint interoperability training to units from six Allied nations in high-intensity operations. The air units were supported by their Royal Netherlands Navy colleagues aboard HNLMS De Zeven Porvincien in the role of fighter controllers, further enhancing air maritime interoperability.

German Air Force Tornado ECR dealing with simulated ground threats. Photo courtesy of the Bundeswehr

Participation included Dutch F-16 and F-35 fighters supported by KDC-10 tankers alongside German Eurofighter and Tornados, Danish F-16s and USAF F-15C. To ensure maximum training value for both airmen and fighter controllers, Deviant Dragon provided a threat increasing scenario in which Mission Commanders need to adjust and deal with multiple aerial targets as well as simulated surface targets.

U.S. Air Force F-15 from RAF Mildenhall joined the large scale air packages ranged against multiple aerial targets. Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force

The exercise was conducted in Dutch controlled airspace above the North Sea and northern part of the Netherlands. The type of exercise focuses on large scale, high-intensity missions between large packages of 4th and 5th generation aircraft. This helps develop Allied interoperability and collective readiness with both offensive and defensive missions using multiple dissimilar types operating in a contested, degraded and operationally limited environment.

HNLMS de Zeven Porvincien carried out the role of fighter controllers, further enhancing air maritime interoperability. Photo courtesy of HNLMS