RNLAF Patch s Royal Netherlands Air Force 306 Squadron F 16 oya
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RNLAF Patch s Royal Netherlands Air Force 306 Squadron F 16 oya

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  • Item #: 1P 06NL 1NAF 01SQN 2OP 0306SQ 03
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RNLAF Patch Royal Netherlands Air Force 306 Squadron 35 Jaar Years Patch 1988 F 16 Volkel Air Base 108mm four and one quarter inches diameter. 

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306 Squadron was activated in 1953 equipped with F-84G Thunderjets based at RAF Gutersloh as the Royal Netherlands Air Force sole photo reconnaissance squadron. The Squadron relocated to RAF Buckeburg in 1954 and upgraded to F-84Es before relocating to RAF Laarbruch the same year. In 1956 the Squadron received RF-84F Thunderflash moving to RAF Deelen in 1957 and Volkel Air Base in 1962.

The Squadron received the first Dutch F-104G Starfighters at Twenthe Air Base on 12 December 1962 and served as the operational conversion unit for the training of Starfighter crews from all the other KLu F-104G squadrons that were forming at the time. In January 1964 306 Squadron converted to RF-104G reconnaissance aircraft and its responsibility for Starfighter crew training was transferred to the "Dutch Masters" operational conversion unit based at Leeuwarden. The Squadron relocated to Volkel Air Base for tactical reconnaissance operations.

306 Squadrons first F-16AR Fighting Falcon reconnaissance aircraft arrived at Volkel AB on 18 February 1983 utilising the Oudedelft Orpheus recce pod previously used on the RF-104Gs adapted with the integration of a radar altimeter and adjusted for the higher G-forces the F-16s would reach. In 2004 the Orpheus system was replaced by the Raphael Recce-Lite system which allowed the F-16ARs to carry a weapons targeting and ECM load as well as the recce platform to allow the F-16s to fly a reconnaissance mission and destroy the found target immediately with the weapons carried.

With the introduction of the F-16 Mid-Life Upgrade in 2000 all RNLAF F-16 aircraft were capable of carrying the reconnaissance pods instead of the just the RF-16. With its exclusive reconnaissance mission ended and 306 Squadron received a new training mission tasked with conversion training of all RNLAF F-16 pilots and providing instructor refresher and Theatre Qualification training.

In 2007 the Dutch government signed a contract with the USAF to perform a large part of the F-16 training in the US. 306 Squadron moved entirely with 14 F-16s to Springfield IAP United States under 148 TFTS of 178 Fighter Wing to carry out the F-16 training duties. With the inactivation of the USAF 178 Fighter Wing at Springfield 306 Squadron was disbanded in December 2010 and the F-16 relocated to Tucson with 148 FS taking over the RNLAF F-16 training role.  

 

This patch dates from 1988

 

 

 

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