NL Volkel 312sq elephant walk 640Elephant walk at Volkel

On 3 November 2021, 312 Squadron Audax Cum Consilio (Courageous with Advice) performed an elephant walk at their home base Volkel (Netherlands). Fourteen F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcons participated in this readiness exercise and were succesfully launched.

The Koninklijke Luchtmacht (KLu, Royal Netherlands Air Force) F-16AM/BMs will be phased out in 2024 and are replaced with the F-35A Lightning II. On 5 July 2021, the last four F-16AMs left Leeuwarden air base, after 42 years of continuous operations and were flown to Volkel.

The first F-16 was delivered in 1979 and the last one, out of 213 built, was accepted in February 1992. The operational life was originally calculated for twenty years. Starting in 1998, the aircraft underwent a midlife update (MLU). The modernisation extended the operational, technical and economic lifespan by about another twenty years.

Details of the 312 Squadron F-16s involved are (fc = ful colour badge, td = toned down badge, nb = no badge):

F-16AM: J-005 (nb), J-008 (fc), J-060 (322sq badge, td), J-062 (fc), J-197 (special 70 years mks), J-201 (TCA badge/322sq badge), J-367 (td), J-515 (fc), J-516 (td), J-632 (td), J-641 (td) and J-644 (322sq badge, td)
F-16BM: J-066 (TGKLu badge), J-368 (td)

Photo by Frank Crebas

Subscribe to Scramble

As a member you get access to all our
premium content and benefits learn more


Follow us and keep in touch