313th squadron (RNlAF)

"Tiger" 

313 sqn "Tiger" (RNlAF)
Status:
Active
Version: F-16A/B block 20 MLU
Role:Multirole
Tailband: N/A
Motto: Scherpgetand (Sharply dented)
Badge: A tiger's head on a purple/blue background surrounded by a black circle.

Sideways profile for 313 sqn in 2007.

F-16 History

The 313th squadron was an NF-5 squadron before it received the venerable viper. It converted on the type in May of 1988. It was the first squadron to receive the brand-new F-16s of the Fokker production line which came from the last order of the Dutch. These where the first OCU airframes delivered to the RNlAF and where also the first to be equipped with the brake chute.

With the introduction on the F-16, the squadron lost its training task and therefore decided that another logo should be chosen. Because the Dutch had always been deprived in the past of membership of the famous NATO Tiger Association due to the simple fact that there was no tiger squadron, the unit decided - with government approval - to choose a tigers head as a mascot. This resulted in the hosting of the NATO Tiger Meet in 1992.


RNlAF F-16AM #J-875 from 313 sqn is armed with captive missiles and bombs for a training mission. [Photo by Wim Vis]

From April 1st, 1994 onwards, the unit received a training task once more. F-16 pilots who had completed their training in the USA where 'customized' to the European airspace and procedures in the squadron. This is the so-called Tactical Qualification Training (TQT). Apart from that, the squadron also provided for the Initial Qualification Training (IQT). Experienced fighter pilots who had flown on other aircraft types for a certain amount of time, had to be re-qualified on the F-16. Besides this the squadron also initiated an F-16 refreshment course for non-active F-16 pilots. These training tasks where all handed over to 306 sqn in November of 2001, with 313 sqn becoming an active F-16 squadron once more.

The last change in the history of 313 sqn is the closure of Twenthe AB in 2005. The squadron was not disbanded but moved to nearby Volkel AB to form a third F-16 squadron on that base.


RNlAF F-16AM #J-145 from 313 sqn is spotted here carrying an MRP pod under the center station. This pod is just an intermediate solution for the Dutch recce needs. [Photo by Wim Vis]

Aircraft Markings History

1988 - 1990

The markings consisted of a red tailband with white markings and the squadron's logo in the middle of the tail. This logo was a bird on top of a runway.

1990 - present

The red tailband with white markings remained and the squadron's logo in the middle of the tail was changed to a tiger's head. The only difference in this format is the absence of the tailband or the toned-down version of this scheme.


Unit History

  • 1953: Activation of the squadron in Volkel
  • 1953: F-84E 'Thunderjet'
  • 1954: F-84G 'Thunderjet'
  • 1956: F-84F 'Thunderstreak'
  • 1958: T-33A 'Shooting Star' (Woensdrecht)
  • 1959: Disbanded
  • 1972: Activation of the squadron in Twenthe
  • 1972: NF-5A 'Freedom Fighter'
  • 1985: NF-5A 'Freedom Fighter' (Soesterberg)
  • 1986: NF-5A 'Freedom Fighter' (Twenthe)
  • 1988: F-16A 'Fighting Falcon'
  • 1999: F-16AM 'Fighting Falcon'
  • 2005: F-16AM 'Fighting Falcon' (Volkel)

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 light'. 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 campagne also received a new name. This operation continued untill 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.
'ISAF - Air Task Force'
Kabul AB, Afghanistan (April 1st, 2006 to June 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 (January 1st, 2008 to April 30th, 2008)
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 (January 1st, 2010 to April 30th, 2010)
This marked the 13th 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 (January 17th, 2012 to May 14th, 2012)
This mission was part of ATF-19, a continuation of the NATO-led Afghanistan detachment of the RNlAF.
'ISAF - Air Task Force'
Mazar-e Sharif AB, Afghanistan (May 6th, 2013 to September 16th, 2013)
This mission was part of ATF-23, 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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