Me and three mates had decided to go to Wittmund on the Friday after the spottersday for the Leeuwarden Open House on Thursday. Temporarily based at Wittmund where five Turkish F-16's. They participated in the exercise 'Brilliant Arrow'. This exercise was a 2 week exercise that took place all over Northern Germany. Brilliant Arrow was developed to prepare a NATO response Force for their operational readiness in 2012. The Turks flew the whole exercise alongside the German Phantoms against German Tornado's and Eurofighters. We arrived around half past eight in the morning and the wind was coming from the west so that meant the perfect location on the hill overlooking the entire airbase. Some Phantoms where allready airborne and some others joined them. Also the Turkish Falcons flew their Brilliant Arrow mission in the morning. Four of them went in the air. The fifth one was a reserve that day apparently. The Turks where parked on the westside of the airbase. Too bad the Skyawks of BAE Systems didn't fly that day. We saw some on the flightlines but they were quickly rolled back in to their hangar. Unfortunately there wheren't any visitors noted that day. But we had a good time and felt like sixteen again with us being four former Hopstenspotters. Wittmund is almost a copy of Hopsten ! Even the planes are still the same nowadays: the mighty Rhino !

A few weeks later the German Minister of Defence announced the plans for the German military for the near future. Everybody including me thought that he would decide to cease all operations at Wittmund in the future as they where still flying the oldest aircraft in the inventory of the Luftwaffe (see also 'Fightertown Wittmund 2010'). But sometimes miracles happen ! Wittmund will be the fourth airbase to fly the very potent Eurofighter. Beginning in 2014 Jagdgeschwader 71 will receive 20 Eurofighters. Delivery will take place untill 2018. After that a second staffel consisting of 12 aircraft will receive their machines. The whole Geschwader will be on strength in/around 2020. The Ministry of Defence will invest 130 million Euro's in the Airbase. The building for the new flightsimulator for the Eurofighter is allready build. All in all great news !!