I joined the RNLAF in 1985 and got assignments with 311 Sq (Training on the Job) at Volkel AB and finally at 315 Sq at Twenthe AB.
Here I was entrusted with the care for A84-1366 named 'Skybird' that came straight from the Fokker plant.
Later on I joined the School for Technical Training as a engineering instructor.
I left the Airforce in 1990; one year before end of duty, as events in Eastern Europe stopped all recruit intake in it's tracks.
Current or Favourite assignment
315 Sq and Twenthe AB are in the country side of Netherlands. I met some wonderful people, had a special job not much people knew about and made friendships for life with fellow crewchiefs.
And I got to fly in the backseat :-) of 84-1368 'Johnnie W'
Depolyments were not much of a thing in those days, especially if you had few service years. Also 315 Sq at that time was working up towards operational status on the F-16 as a Fighter Bomber asset for NATO, so outbound trips were not a priority and we had frequent readiness exersizes like DATEX and TACEVAL.
Squadron Rotations were held regularly. I remember a rotation with the RAF 'Firebird' Phantoms FGR2 from 56 Sq, and 15 Ala from Spain with FA-18A Hornets, or more precisely the Guinness, Paella and Sangria at the parties!
Occasionally technical crews would fly out for repairs if a bird was down with technical issues somewhere. I had a occasion like that at RAF Woodbridge and Bentwaters.
Shortly after I took assignment with the RNLAF Technical School for training 315 Sq started Air Defence deployments to Bodo in Norway, and at the start of Balkan war Air Policing deplyment to Aviano and was heavily involved with missions in Serbia.
315 Sq was stood down and disbanded in 2004, and the jets transferred to 313 Sq and some of the jets have now been sold to Chile.
Have a look at the Aircraft database for this Jet: I have started to digitize my photo archive.
I have always tried to keep in touch with the wherabouts of 'Skybird'
I am trying to complete the database with pictures of all squadrons she flew with. She is still a flyer after almost 20 years and I would love to pat her on the nose when she reaches the age of 20 in April 2007
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