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F-16s take two millionth photo over Afghanistan

February 15, 2012 (by RNlAF) - On February 11, 2012, Dutch F-16s took their two millionth photo over Afghanistan, using the RecceLite photo reconnaissance system. The fighter aircraft are stationed in Mazar-e Sharif, in the north of the Asian country.

Aircrew of the RNLAF Air Task Force that made the 2 millionth photo mission ​possible pose in front of one of there F-16s at Mazar-e-Sharif on February 11th, 2012. [Dutch Ministry of Defence photo]

The F-16 detachment has been flying reconnaissance missions with the RecceLite system since September 2009. By reconnoitring routes and detecting improvised explosive devices, the air force makes a daily contribution to the security of ISAF military personnel, including the Dutch police trainers in Kunduz.

Analysts at the Tactical Air Reconnaissance Centre in Mazar-e Sharif receive the pictures even before the aircraft has landed. After analysis, the ground station sends the pictures to the coalition partners, who use the information to limit the risks to their personnel.

The Netherlands is the only coalition partner in Afghanistan which has this reconnaissance technology. ISAF partners therefore regularly submit requests for reconnaissance missions.

Courtesy of The Government of the Netherlands

Additional images:

RNlAF F-16AM #J-643 from 313 sqn departs a USAF KC-10A Extender aircraft from the 908th EARS after refueling over Afghanistan on December 7th, 2009. [USAF photo by SSgt. Michael B. Keller]