#1243 F-16AM Fighting Falcon

F-16AM Fighting Falcon
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£10.00 €11.70 $12.72
43.8 cm x 29.2 cm
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F-16AM Fighting Falcon
313 Sqn
Volkel Air Base, The Netherlands
Netherlands - Air Force
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Squadron Prints Lithograph No. 1243 - F-16AM Fighting Falcon, J-512, 313 Squadron, Volkel Air Base, The Netherlands. 313 Squadron was formed at Volkel Air Base on 1 December 1953. On this day, Jachtvliegschool II (Jet Fighter School II) was disbanded and the aircraft and personnel transferred to the new unit. The main task for the instructor pilots was to supply the Royal Netherlands Air Force with fully trained jet pilots. The students had to complete a challenging course on the T-33 ‘T-bird’ and the F-84G ‘Thunderjet’ before being posted to an operational squadron. In 1958 the squadron moved to Woensdrecht Air Base, where it merged with Jachtvliegschool I and was renamed Jachtvliegopleiding (Jet Fighter Training) a year later. On 12 October 1972, 313 Squadron reformed at Twenthe Air Base where the instructor pilots flew the NF-5 ‘Freedom Fighter’. Here they were responsible for training junior pilots who had just returned from pilot training in the United States. The most significant change to the squadron took place in 1987 when 313 Squadron, for the first time in its history, became an operational squadron. No longer responsible for pilot training, the pilots on the squadron converted to the F-16A Fighting Falcon during 1987 and 1988. As the squadron was now an operational unit, it was decided to change the squadron badge to a tiger’s head with the motto ‘Scherpgetand’. The new badge symbolized the spirit of the squadron: it conducted its mission with the determination, strength and grace of a tiger. 313 Squadron also became a full member of the NATO Tiger Association. However, from 1994 onwards, 313 Squadron returned to pilot training, until this task was handed over to 306 Squadron at Volkel Air Base in 2001. A rich history of operational instruction came to an end and subsequently 313 gained operational status again in October 2002 becoming Twenthe Air Base’s Main Defence Force Fighter Squadron. During 2003 the squadron participated in Operation Enduring Freedom, operating from Kyrgyzstan and flying missions into Afghanistan in support of ground troops. F-16AM J-512, shown above, was the first 313 Squadron aircraft to fly over Afghanistan. Since 2004, 313 Squadron has been continuously committed to the International Security Assistance Force mission, operating from Kabul International Airport, Kandahar Airfield and Mazar-e-sharif respectively. Due to the closure of Twenthe Air Base, 313 moved to its new home at Volkel Air Base in 2005. The squadron also continuously participates in international exercises, is committed to the NATO Tiger Association and fulfills its national duties. In 2011, 313 flew missions in support of the military intervention in Libya under the flag of Operation Unified Protector. 313 Squadron remains at Volkel Air Base and celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2013.