Military Capabilities

Benelux air policing rotations extended to eight months

11 January 2018

Two Belgian air force F-16s began policing the airspace over Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg (Benelux) on 11 January, the Belgian and Dutch ministries of defence have announced.

The Florennes-based Belgian fighters will be on 15-minute quick reaction alert (QRA) until August. They took over the mission from two Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) F-16s.

Belgian and Dutch F-16s have been taking turns policing Benelux airspace since 1 January 2017, with Belgium conducting the first rotation, which lasted four months. The next two rotations are eight months long to coincide with the 18-month deployments of Belgian F-16s to Al-Asraq until 26 December 2017 and the RNLAF deployment to the Jordanian airbase at the beginning of January.

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