The Royal Netherlands Air Force kicked of its joint army and air force air mobile training operations at Fort Hood (Texas) on August 15, 2013.
To illustrate the start seven RNLAF Boeing AH-64A Apache and three RNLAF Boeing CH-47F Chinook helicopters took off for a formation fly-by of the US Army base (download via official site defensie.nl). The Joint Netherlands Training Detachment (JNTD) at Fort Hood has a permanent strength of 8 Apaches and 3 Chinooks to train the RNLAF aviators. Fort Hood has a vast training area unequaled to any of the possibilities in the Netherlands, for almost everything from number of flying hours, flying during daytime or night and the availability of space. Having aircraft of one’s own makes the use of all training possibilities even better, writes the Dutch Ministry of Defence in a press release.
The JNTD gets maintenance support, so-called opposing forces to train against and life-fire shooting ranges. Training in America also means reducing the noise in the skies over the fairly crowded Netherlands.
The first week after the kick-off the JNTD will make several training sorties, followed by the first big Air Assault on Monday August 19th. ,,This is the most intensive and complex co-operation of air and ground forces”, writes a press spokesperson. ,,From the beginning till the end the action of the various units has to be fine-tuned. Because of the speed, the element of surprise and the low impact of the terrain on the operations an air assault offers forces to operate unpredictably. This has proven its value during Dutch operations in the Uruzgan province of Afghanistan in the past.”
After the training the Apaches will be transferred to manufacturer Boeing for upgrading to the so-called Block 2 standard.
Source: Ministerie van Defensie