HAF A-7 Corsair II Retirement
On October 17, 2014 the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) retired the Vought A-7 Corsair II with a retirement ceremony at Araxos Air Base. The day before the retirement ceremony a spotters- and press day was organised by 336 Mira, the last squadron to operate the type within the HAF. With the HAF being the sole operator of the type left it was the last opportunity to come up close and personal with SLUF, as it was nicknamed by USAF pilots.
Royal International Air Tattoo 2014
Unlike the build up to RIAT 2013 there was large amount of optimism in the run upto this years show. When Lockheed Martin announced in late spring that the F-35B Lightning II would make its European show debut you can imagine this created a great deal of excitement throughout the enthusiast community.
HFWS-C, The Last of the Mohicans
The Heeresfliegerwaffenschule (HFWS) is Germany’s main unit for training the current and future helicopter crew in the German Army (Heeresflieger) and other German armed forces. The training is conducted at two bases; Bückeburg (HQ) and Celle (HFWS-C). HFWS also uses some satellite airfields for training purposes during the courses.
Global Strike Command at RAF Fairford
During the first week of June the United States Air force Strike Command deployed three B-52H Stratofortresses and two B-2A Spirit's to RAF Fairford in the Cotswolds. Ashley Wallace and Stuart Freer were at Fairford for Touchdown Aviation to report on the Exercise.
Ronneby 70 years F 17
On Sunday the 1st of June, Fighter Wing F 17 at Ronneby Kallinge Air Base hosted an air show to celebrate the 70th year anniversary of their wing. This years air show theme was to show the flying history over the past 70 years. The Swedish Air Force showed the types in their inventory, and the Swedish Historic Flight brought their J-35 Draken for the first public show.
Green Shield الاخضر شيلد 2014
From the 31st of March until the 18th of April 2014, exercise Green Shield 2014 was hosted at Base Aérienne (BA) 133 Nancy Ochey located in the north east of France. This year saw the fourth edition of the exercise between the Armée de l’air and the Royal Saudi Air Force called Green Shield. On the 14th of April Touchdown Aviation was invited to visit BA133.
Frisian Flag 2014
From March 31st - April 11th fighter town Leeuwarden Airbase was host to the international Frisian Flag exercise. Just like last year, main focus was on international cooperation with scenarios executed based on possible future deployments of NATOs Immediate Response Force. Touchdown Aviation visited Leeuwarden on April 1st when the exercise was in its second day.
RAF Tristar Farewell
On Monday 24th March 2014 the last operational air refuelling flight of an RAF Lockheed L-1011 Tristar took place with 216 Squadron at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. Just before 11am FAGIN 11 (ZD948) and FAGIN 12 (ZD950) the two TriStars departed to Air to Air Refuelling Area 8 (AARA 8) over the North Sea.
Red Flag 14-1
Red Flag is the United States biggest and most realistic training exercise held and coordinated at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada and involves aircraft from the United States Air Force, Marines, Navy and its Allies. The exercise is conducted over the vast Nevada bombing and training ranges situated North of Nellis AFB. Ashley Wallace travelled to Nellis at the beginning of February to report on the first Red Flag of 2014, known to all the crews as Red Flag 14-1.
Last October Touchdown Aviation was invited to re-visit Naval Air Station Fallon, which is located in the state of Nevada. NAS Fallon is host to the Naval Strike and Warfare Center, and VFC-13 Fighting Saints. Contrary to our last visit to the based units, we visited Carrier Air Wing 8 to see them working up for their upcoming deployment on the USS George H.W. Bush.