312th squadron (RNlAF)

"Bonzo" 

312 sqn "Bonzo" (RNlAF)
Status:
Active
Version: F-16A/B block 20 MLU
Role:Multirole, Strike
Tailband: N/A
Motto: Audax Cum Consilio (Bold and tactfull)
Badge: Two crossed golden swords interlaced with a red lightning strike.

Sideways profile for 312 sqn in 2007.

F-16 History

312 sqn became operational on the viper on October 1st, 1985. It was the first squadron who implemented the swing role concept from the start on. The squadron was also responsible for the strike role, together with its sister squadron, the 311th. Although a public secret, it is generally believed that Volkel AB hosts tactical nuclear devices of the B-61 type. This is a part of NATO deterrence which is still a key cornerstone of the alliances strategy till this day.

During operation Deny Flight, the squadron formed an expeditionary unit together with its sister squadron, the 311th. They became the '623rd sqn' during this operation (312 + 311 makes 623). This was the first operation after the Indonesian campaign in the sixties in which Dutch fighters where tasked in offensive missions.


RNlAF F-16AM #J-640 from 312 sqn is starting for a simulated base-attack at Volkel AB on June 16th, 2007. [Photo by Mike Schoenmaker]

The most drastic change in the squadrons role since the introduction of the Fighting Falcon came in 2001 when the unit converted to the updated MLU type. This update provided some state-of-the-art technology with the introduction of BVR missiles and precision-guided air-to-ground weapons like the AGM-65 missile and GBU-type weapons.

In the meanwhile, the updates on the MLU F-16 continue with the introduction of the M3 software. This makes the introduction of the HMCS and Link 16 possible, which will greatly enhance the aircrafts affectivity.


RNlAF F-16AM #J-011 from 312 sqn is coming in for landing at Volkel AB on April 12th, 2006. [Photo by Werner van der Wiel]

Aircraft Markings History

1985 - present

The markings consist of a red and white checkered tailband with the squadron's logo in the middle of the tail. The only difference in this format is the absence of the tailband or the toned-down version of this scheme.


Unit History

  • 1951: Activation of the squadron in Volkel
  • 1952: F-84E 'Thunderjet'
  • 1952: F-84G 'Thunderjet'
  • 1956: F-84F 'Thunderstreak'
  • 1966: F-104G 'Starfighter'
  • 1985: F-16A 'Fighting Falcon'
  • 2001: F-16AM 'Fighting Falcon'

Deployments

'Deny Flight'
Villafranca AB, Italy (April 12th, 1993 to December 20th, 1995)
From the start of the Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16 operations in former Yugoslavia till December of 1995 it was part of 'Deny flight'. This was an operation in support of the UN-led UNPROFOR troops stationed in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
'Decisive Endeavour'
Villafranca AB, Italy (December 21st, 1995 to December 21st, 1996)
The switch from the UNPROFOR mission to the IFOR mission also resulted in a name change of the air operations over Yugoslavia. As from December of 1995 it was called Decisive Endeavour.
'Deliberate Guard'
Villafranca AB, Italy (December 22nd, 1996 to June 20th, 1998)
When the UN forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina changed their mandate resulting in a name change from IFOR to SFOR, also the air operations were given another name. Ultimately, 'Deliberate Guard' formed the air asset for the SFOR troops.
'Determined Falcon'
Villafranca AB, Italy (June 15th, 1998 to June 16th, 1998)
Operation 'Determined Falcon' was a one-day operation to show force over Kosovo and Albania. NATO fighters patrolled this airspace coming only within 10nm of Serbian territory. This operation was meant as a warning to Serbian politicians to stop the bloodshed in this Yugoslavian province.
'Deliberate Forge'
Amendola AB, Italy (June 21st, 1998 to July of 2001)
Operation 'Deliberate Forge' was the successor of operation 'Deliberate Guard'. When the SFOR troops were reorganized into a smaller force, the covering air campaign also received a new name. This operation continued until the end of Royal Netherlands Air Force operations in Yugoslavia, which ended in the summer of 2001.
'Allied Force'
Amendola AB, Italy (March 23rd, 1999 to June 10th, 1999)
Operation 'Allied Force' was the codename for the almost three month long air strikes against Serbia. The Royal Netherlands Air Force has flown a majority of attack missions of all Western European countries in this operation.
'Enduring Freedom'
Manas AB, Kyrgyzstan (October 1st, 2002 to December 31st, 2002)
Operation 'Enduring Freedom' was initiated after the 9/11 attacks on the US. In Afghanistan this operation is aimed at fighting the remains of the Taliban which are still present in-country.
'ISAF - Air Task Force'
Manas AB, Kyrgyzstan (September 14th, 2004 to November 7th, 2004)
The ISAF force is a NATO led operation to bring stability in Afghanistan and support of the local authorities. Also to protect ISAF ground forces during the presidential elections held in the autumn of 2004.
'ISAF - Air Task Force'
Kabul AB, Afghanistan (April 1st, 2005 to June 30th, 2005)
The ISAF force is a NATO led operation to bring stability in Afghanistan and support of the local authorities. Also to protect ISAF ground forces during the parliamentary elections held in the autumn of 2005.
'ISAF - Air Task Force'
Kabul AB, Afghanistan (July 1st, 2006 to September 30th, 2006)
The ISAF force is a NATO led operation to bring stability in Afghanistan and support of the local authorities. This is a continuation of this mission.
'ISAF - Air Task Force'
Kandahar AB, Afghanistan (July 1st, 2007 to September 30th, 2007)
The ISAF force is a NATO led operation to bring stability in Afghanistan and support of the local authorities. This is a continuation of this mission.
'ISAF - Air Task Force'
Kandahar AB, Afghanistan (September 1st, 2008 to December 31st, 2008)
This marked the 9th rotation into the Dutch Air Task Force supporting NATO troops in Afghanistan. This is a continuation of this mission.
'ISAF - Air Task Force'
Kandahar AB, Afghanistan (September 1st, 2010 to December 31st, 2010)
This marked the 15th rotation into the Dutch Air Task Force supporting NATO troops in Afghanistan. This is a continuation of this mission.
'ISAF - Air Task Force'
Mazar-e Sharif AB, Afghanistan (September 25th, 2012 to January 7th, 2013)
This mission was part of ATF-21, a continuation of the NATO-led Afghanistan detachment of the RNlAF.
'ISAF - Air Task Force'
Mazar-e Sharif AB, Afghanistan (January 15th, 2014 to May 16th, 2014)
This mission was part of ATF-22, a continuation of the NATO-led Afghanistan detachment of the RNlAF.
'Air Policing Baltic States'
Malbork AB, Poland [5 F-16s] (September 1st, 2014 to December 31st, 2014)
This marked the first deployment to the Baltics for this squadron. It is part of a high tension package and also marks the first deployment to Malbork AB in Poland.

F-16 Airframe Inventory

Photos

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