315th squadron (RNlAF)

"Lion" 

315 sqn "Lion" (RNlAF)
Status:
Disbanded
Version: F-16A/B block 20 MLU
Role:Multirole
Tailband: N/A
Motto: Nec Timide Nec Tumide (Without fear and without overconfidence)
Badge: A yellow lion's head on a blue background.
Disbanded on April 16th, 2004.

Sideways profile for 315 sqn in 1996.

F-16 History

The squadron became operational on the F-16 on November 1st, 1987, only in the FBA role at that moment. Followed one year later with the CWI task. The squadron was also assigned to the NATO AMF (Ace Mobile Forces) force. It took over this task from 314 sqn on October 3rd, 1988 because that squadron was to convert to the F-16. Although only a temporary task at first (till the conversion of 314 sqn was finished), it ultimately proved that this task would be assigned to 315 sqn permanently.

In April of 1999 the squadron also started, together with 311 sqn, to train on dropping laser-guided bombs. The illumination of the targets was done by the British Buccaneers of 237 squadron. Together with this task, the squadron also performed a QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) duty together with its sister squadron - the 313th - to relieve the two Leeuwarden based squadrons - 322 sqn & 323 sqn - of this duty.

During the first Gulf War the squadron was assigned to the AMF and consequently the Dutch government offered the F-16s of 315 sqn to Turkey to protect the country against a possible attack by Iraq. Turkey rejected on the offer and instead Belgian Mirage V, Italian F-104S and German Alpha Jets went to Diyarbakir to protect the Turkish airspace.


RNlAF F-16A block 15 #J-197 of 315 sqn landing at Volkel AB with a curve. [Photo by Ed Groenendijk]

A remarkable fact in the history of the 315th sqn was that it received the last F-16 of the Fokker production line on February 27th, 1992. This was airframe #J-021.

A year later the squadron was the first to leave for Villafranca AB in Italy for operation 'Deny Flight'. On April 12th, 1993 two F-16s - #J-508 & #J-516 - lifted their noses into the sky to commence this operation. The operations over former Yugoslavia only ended 8 years later, with 315 sqn contributing to these operations on a regular bases.

With the latest defense cuts within the Dutch military, it was decided that the RNlAF had to loose one squadron. After celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2002, the squadron started with minimizing its activities. It finally disbanded in 2004.


RNlAF F-16AM #J-511 from 315 sqn is turning towards the taxiway at Rheine-Hopsten AB to start a new training sortie. [Photo by Wim Vis]

Aircraft Markings History

1986 - 1992

The markings consisted of the squadron's logo in the middle of the tail in the original color scheme.

1992 - 1998

The scheme was toned-down in an overall gray finishing. The tailband could be absent from time to time or displayed in full color.

1998 - 2004

The tailband was removed all together.


Unit History

  • 1952: Activation of the squadron in Eindhoven
  • 1952: F-84G 'Thunderjet'
  • 1956: F-84F 'Thunderstreak'
  • 1970: NF-5A 'Freedom Fighter' (Twenthe)
  • 1986: F-16A 'Fighting Falcon'
  • 1999: F-16AM 'Fighting Falcon'
  • 2004: Disbanded

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 (July 1st, 2003 to September 30th, 2003)
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.

F-16 Airframe Inventory

Photos

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