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Brilliant Arrow 2006
 
L-159A ALCA - 6060 - 212 Taktická Letka - Czech Air Force   Tornado IDS - 43+02 - Aufklärungsgeschwader 51 - German Air Force   Tornado IDS - 46+15 - Aufklärungsgeschwader 51 - German Air Force   Mi-17 Hip - 0811 - 231 Vrtulníkù Letka - Czech Air Force
 
Mi-24V Hind - 7357 - 221 Letka Bitevních Vrtulníkù - Czech Air Force

Brilliant Arrow

Words and photographs Michael van der Mee

Exercise Brilliant Arrow 2006, an annual live flying NATO exercise, took place over North West Europe from 27th of March until the 7th of April 2006. Specific exercise areas were located in the North Sea, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Participating nations flew from bases in Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. The Exercise was conducted by AACCHR (Allied Air Component Command Headquarters Ramstein) through its Air Operations Centers.

Thirteen Nations where involved in this year's Brilliant Arrow: Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

The exercise is designed to provide challenging and realistic training opportunities and team building for all participating units in a Crisis Response Operation scenario, with emphasis on NATO Response Force air operations. It will also provide an opportunity to verify the interoperability, mission execution and reporting capabilities of the Air Components of NATO's Response Forces (NRF 7 & 8) that will be on standby from July 2006 to July 2007.

This exercise was related to the NATO maritime exercise Brilliant Mariner 2006 that took place from the 24th of March until the 6th of April 2006 in the German Bight, North Sea, Skagerak, Kattegat and adjacent territorial waters. It is conducted by the Allied Maritime Component Command Northwood, the United Kingdom. A total of more then sixty NATO vessels took place in this large exercise.

The exercise was the last in a series preparing for maneuvers NATO is due to mount in June off Cape Verde in West Africa. These will test the NATO’s new Response Force, a 20.000 strong interservice body developed as a key element in its transformation from Cold War military bloc to post-September 11 global security player.

The so-called NRF brings together naval, air and ground forces which NATO plans to deploy speedily in the event of a crisis. Both exercises are decisive steps on the road towards a NATO Response Force that has full operational capability.

 
HH-60G Pave Hawk - 89-26205/IS - 56 Rescue Squadron - United States Air Forces in Europe   Mi-24V Hind - 7357 - 221 Letka Bitevních Vrtulníkù - Czech Air Force   Sea King Mk 41 - 89+64 - Marinefliegergeschwader 5 - German Navy   Tornado IDS - 43+02 - Aufklärungsgeschwader 51 - German Air Force
 
L-159A ALCA - 6060 - 212 Taktická Letka - Czech Air Force
 
Brilliant Arrow 2006 - Skrydstrup
 
Mirage F1CR - 612/33-NJ - ER 02.033 - French Air Force
 
F-16AM Fighting Falcon - E-202 - Danish Air Force   F-16AM Fighting Falcon - E-197 - Danish Air Force   F-16AM Fighting Falcon - E-199 - Eskadrille 727 - Danish Air Force   F-16AM Fighting Falcon - E-187 - Eskadrille 730 - Danish Air Force
 
EF-18B+ Hornet - CE.15-12/12-75 - Ala 12 - Spanish Air Force   EF-18A+ Hornet - C.15-44/12-02 - Ala 12 - Spanish Air Force   EF-18A+ Hornet - C.15-59/12-17 - Ala 12 - Spanish Air Force   EF-18A+ Hornet - C.15-53/12-11 - Ala 12 - Spanish Air Force
 
C-130H-30 Hercules - TL.10-01/31-01 - Ala 31 - Spanish Air Force
 
F-16C Fighting Falcon - 054 - 341 Mira - Hellenic Air Force   F-16C Fighting Falcon - 064 - 341 Mira - Hellenic Air Force   Mirage F1CR - 608/33-NN - ER 02.033 - French Air Force   Mirage F1CR - 612/33-NJ - ER 02.033 - French Air Force
 
F-16D Fighting Falcon - 077 - 341 Mira - Hellenic Air Force   C-130H-30 Hercules - TL.10-01/31-01 - Ala 31 - Spanish Air Force   C-130H Hercules - 751 - 356 MTM - Hellenic Air Force   CF-188A Hornet - 188742 - 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron - Canadian Armed Forces
 
F-16AM Fighting Falcon - E-187 - Eskadrille 730 - Danish Air Force
 
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