BEST HIT was a NATO competition in which the air forces of Italy, Greece and Turkey took part ( together with a joint “guest-team” assembled from USAFE´s 401 Tactical Fighter Wing ,Torrejon, Spain and U.S. Navy squadrons VA-15 and VA-87 , while on deployment to the aircraft carrier USS Roosevelt in the Mediterranean Sea)
On 11-12 July 1972 Frank and Hans were invited to visit the NATO Helicopter Meet that was organized at Naval Air Station Lee-on-Solent, in Britain. The flight to and fro was made in Fokker F-27 “C-8” of the K.Lu. Participating to the Meet were delegations from the RAF (Whirlwind helis),Royal Navy (Wessex-helis), USAFE (Huskies), R.Danish Navy (Alouette IIIs), R.Danish Air Force (Sikorsky S-61s), R.Neth.AF (Alouette IIIs) , R.Neth.Navy (Agusta-Bell UH-1s) , French Navy (Alouette IIIs) , WGAF (Bell UH-1s), WGNavy (Sikorsky H-34s) and Italian AF (Agusta-Bell 204Bs).
During the Sixties Volkel (NL) was an airbase where photography was not easy; nevertheless the authors (Hans and Frank) managed to take some pictures during that period . Later on facilities to do so grew easier. This gallery contains a selection of the images we took at Volkel – mainly standing near the landing-lights waiting for the aircraft to come in.
Some pictures , made by Frank on Thursday , June 12th , 2013, are added to this gallery
This was the day prior to the Open Days of the KLu; Frank and Hans went to Volkel in an attempt to catch some of the arrivals for the airshow. The Open Day of 13 June is reported in a separate gallery.
The 1976 TWM (Tactical Weapons Meet) was the 12th edition of central Europe’s tactical attack competion. It was was held at Twente AB (NL) from 28 April till 15 May , visited by Frank on the 7th and by Hans on the 10th of May. TWM was a contest between teams of 2ATAF (Allied Tactical Air Force) and 4ATAF. The team from 2ATAF consisted of NF-5As of 316 squadron KLu of Gilze-Rijen AB, Mirages of 1 sqn BAFBierset, Starfighters of 1/31 JaBo Luftwaffe from Nörvenich and Phantoms of 31 sqn RAFG. 4ATAF consisted of 1/32 JaBo Luftwaffe, 1 CAG Canada, 22TFS/36TFW USAF and 23TFS/52TFW USAF from Spangdahlem (flying F-4D’s ). The French AF had sent a guest team, 3/13 Escadre from Colmar, equipped with Mirage 5Fs.The chase planes were NF-5Bs of Twente.
From 28 -30 May 1974 Frank and Hans were invited to attend the 11th NATO Tactical Weapons Meet , organized at Canadian Forces Base Baden-Söllingen in Germany; they also joined in for a flight to the Suippes-Gunnery Range in Northern France in a Bell-helicopter of the Luftwaffe. Participants to the Meet this time were : (2 ATAF) R.Neth.AF , 315 sq., Twenthe ; (2ATAF) Belgian AF , 10th Wing , Kleine Brogel ; (2ATAF) Royal Air Force Germany, 17 sq., Brüggen ; (2ATAF) W.German AF , JBG31 , Nörvenich ; (4ATAF) W.German AF , JBG34 , Memmingen ; (4ATAF) Canadian AF , 439 sq., Söllingen ; (4ATAF) USAFE , 50TFW , Hahn ; (4ATAF) USAFE 36TFW , Bitburg ; (Guest Team) French AF , Escadre 3/13 , Colmar). Winner of the Meet was 2 ATAF which received the Broadhust Trophy. By the way , Hans and Frank wrote a vivid article on this subject in the July 1974-issue of Flash Aviation Magazine.
On July 17th, 1973 Hans and Frank visited the NATO-AIRSOUTH Fighter Weapons Meet BEST HIT, which was held at Istrana AB in Italy. Competing were teams of USAFE (613 TFS , 401 TFW, Torrejon ,Spain), US Navy (Carrier Attack Wing 7 , USS Independence) , Italian AF (8th Wing , Cervia) , Hellenic AF (341 sq., Nea Anghialos) and Turkish AF (192 sq.,Balikesir) . Photography appeared to be not allowed (!) during their visit and instead all the pictures shown in this gallery were taken by NATO-AIRSOUTH PR-officials during their walk-around along the flight-lines. The slide-scans are duplicates issued to them for publication together with the group-pictures.
Florennes Air Base hosted the 17th Royal Flush aerial reconnaissance competition from 13 to 21 June 1973. Hans and Frank visited the exercise on June 14th, 1973. The teams that took part were : W.German AF (AKG51, Bremgarten , with RF-4E’s) ; USAF in Europe (17TRS/26TRW , Zweibrücken and 32TRS/10TRW , Alconbury with RF-4C’s) ; Royal Air Force Germany ( 2 sq.,Larbruch , with Phantom FGR.2’s) ; R.Neth.AF ( 306 sq., Volkel , with RF-104G’s) ; Belgian AF ( 42 sq.,Florennes , with Mirage VBR’s ; French AF (Escadre de Rec. 3/33 ,Strasbourg , with Mirage IIIR’s) ; (Judge Team) French AF , Esc.2 , Dijon with Mirage IIIB’s ; (Judge Team) WGNavy , MFG.1/2 , Schleswig/Eggebeck with TF-104G’s ;(JudgeTeam) R.Norwegian AF with Northrop F-5B’s ; (Target Reconnaissance) RAF , 39 sq. with Canberra PR.7s . A number of nice action-shots , presented in this gallery , could be made by Hans and Frank during this Meet!
In May 1970 the annual NATO recce exercise “Royal Flush” was organized at the Dutch airbase of Deelen (now closed); participants were : USAFE (26TRW and 10TRW) with RF-4 Phantoms, BAF (42 sq.)with Thunderflashes, CAF (1 CAG) flying CF-104G Starfighters, R.Dan.AF (729 Esk) with Thunderflashes, FAF (ER 33) , Luftwaffe (AKG51) with RF-104G Starfighters, RAF (31 sq.) and R.Neth.AF/K.Lu. (306 sq.) thatwas equipped with RF-104G Starfighters. On May 14 Frank and Hans were allowed to pay a visit.
The 1969 TWM (NATO Tactical Weapons Meet) was held at Fliegerhorst Nörvenich in Germany. Participants to the Meet came from 311/312 squadron(K.Lu.), 10W (BAF), 11 Escadre (FAF), 53 TFS/36 TFW and 20TFW (USAFE), 1AD (RCAF), JABOG 33 + LeKG43/44(Luftwaffe) and 3 sq. (RAF). Referees were flying German TF-104Gs. Frank was present and took the pictures in this gallery.