Col. Peter Tankink passed 3000 flying hour in the F-16. This makes him the 8th Dutch pilot to achieve this mark. ">

F-16 Fighting Falcon News

Volkel base commander passes 3000 hrs

January 25, 2012 (by Asif Shamim) - During a training mission from Volkel Air Base yesterday afternoon, Col. Peter Tankink passed 3000 flying hour in the F-16. This makes him the 8th Dutch pilot to achieve this mark.

Col. Peter Tankink, returns to Volkel Airbase in F-16AM #J-011 after flying a mission in which he passed 3000 flying hours in an F-16 on January 24th, 2012. Tankink became the 8th Dutch F-16 pilot to achieve this landmark. [RNlAF photo]

Tankink, The current commander of Volkel Air Base has been flying the F-16 since 1990 and has taken part in several operational deployments with the RNlAF. The majority of his flying hours he flew during the 1990s. Today he flies a few hours per year to remain operationally proficient and involved with day to day operations.

Every fighter pilot has to fly a certain number of hours to keep up the skills and to train in procedures. This training and experience is essential to be able to deploy pilots for operations and missions in the Netherlands and abroad.

Col. Tankink started his career at Leeuwarden Airbase with 322 Squadron. During this period he went through various positions at the squadron and took part in several missions over the Balkans as part of operation Deny Flight, Deliberate Force, Deliberate Guard and Allied Force. In the latter he shot down a Yugoslav MiG-29 with an AIM-120 AMRAAM missile (While flying #J-063). The first post-WWII kill for the Royal Netherlands Airforce.

Later on he headed up the Team which looked after the Mid Life Update (MLU) of the Dutch F-16s. He then became the commander of 323 squadron, followed by the function of deputy base commander at Leeuwarden airbase and Chief of Fighter Branch at the airforce headquarters in Breda.

One of his later roles included being the commander of the Air Task Force in Afghanistan during 2005 & 2009. In January 2011, Tankink began his current role as commander of the airbase Volkel.




Additional images:

Col. Peter Tankink, RNlAF Volkel Airbase commander became the 8th Dutch pilot to pass 3000 flying hours in the F-16 on January 24th, 2012. [RNlAF photo]

F-16 Fighting Falcon - Official 3000 Flight hours patch [Asif Shamim Collection]