RNLAF Patch s Royal Netherlands Air Force 301 Squadron o Reaper
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RNLAF Patch s Royal Netherlands Air Force 301 Squadron o Reaper

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  • Item #: 1P 06NL 1NAF 01SQN 2OP 0301SQ 02
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RNLAF Patch Royal Netherlands Air Force 301 Squadron Ace Skull Patch 1995 AH 64A Apache Gilze Rijen AB Embroidered on twill merrowed edge 93mm by 65mm three and five eighth inches by two and nine sixteenth inches. 

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301 Squadron although established as one of three reserve helicopter Squadrons with 300 and 302  in 1962 at Ypenburg Air Base and although allocated various helicopters over the years it remained dormant. In 1993 at the start of the selection process 301 Squadron was earmarked to become RNLAF first operator of its proposed attack helicopter fleet. In January 1995 RNLAF selected the AH 64D Apache helicopter and the contract for 30 Apaches was signed on 24 May 1995.

While awaiting delivery RNLAF commenced training aircrews and maintenance personnel for attack helicopter operation at Fort Hood under 21 Cavalry Brigades Combat Aviation Training Brigade CATB in 1996 and leased 12 AH 64A Apaches from the US Army which were handed over to RNLAF on 27 January 1997. 301 Squadron was officially activated on 31 January 1997 at Gilze Rijen Air Base and commence operations on 4 February 1997. 301 Squadron adopted the traditions the name Redskins and insignia of 314 Fighter Squadron which had been based at Gilze Rijen AB and had disbanded in mid 1995.

The Squadron continued with exercises and additional training and in 1998 the Squadron deployed to Bosnia attached to a US Apache unit in the first operation for RNLAF Apaches. Delivery of RNLAF AH 64D helicopters began in May 1998.

RNLAFs second Apache Squadron 302 commenced training pilots aircrew instructor pilots and maintenance test pilots for AH 64D Apaches at Boeings training facility in Mesa Arizona in January 1999. The delivery of the AH-64D helicopters to the Royal Netherlands Air Force began in May 1998 and six of the leased AH 64A were returned to the US Army in September 2000.

In 2001 301 Squadron deployed Apaches to Djibouti to provide air support to Dutch military personnel of the UNMEE peacekeeping force in Ethiopia Eritrea and in April 2004 deployed AH 64Ds to Afghanistan. The remaining six leased AH 64A helicopters were returned in February 2001 and the last AH 64D Apache was delivered to the RNLAF in May 2002. At the end of 2003 301 and 302 Squadrons where fully operational with eleven AH 64D Apache each and the Joint Netherlands Training Detachment JNTD was formed at Fort Hood US for training requirements equipped with eight AH 64 D Apaches.

In 2004 the Squadron deployed six Apaches to the Multinational force in Iraq to support the Dutch ground forces providing close combat support display of force and reconnaissance. In 2005 as a result of budget cuts 302 Squadron was inactivated with six Apaches earmarked for disposal and the remainder transferred to 301 Squadron.

In February 2006 the Netherlands contribution to NATO forces in Afghanistan was increased and six AH 64Ds were deployed in support. Initially based at Kabul airport five moved to Kandahar Airfield and then to Kamp Holland in Tarin Kowt in October 2006. The Squadrons Crews and maintenance personnel rotated until the deployment ended on 11 November 2010. 301 Squadron provided 4 AH-64D Apache helicopters in support for Dutch troops participating in the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali MINUSMA in May 2014 and was the first time Apaches were used to support a UN peacekeeping mission.

301 Squadrons Apaches also provide support to the Dutch Ministry of Justice including   missing persons searches and pursuit of criminals. The Squadron formed The Apache Solo Display Team at Gilze-Rijen AB for the 2002 Gilze-Rijen Air Show and was such a success that they continued with displays at other air shows winning the Sir Douglas Bader Trophy at RIAT RAF Fairford in July 2005. The Display Team was inactive following the 2005 season and due to operational deployments did not display until the 2010 season.  

This patch dates from the 2000s

 

 

 

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