From April 16th till the 27th the annual exercise Frisian Flag had it's 2012 version held at Leeuwarden. This exercise is one of a few chances left for spotters in Holland to catch many different types of aircraft from different European countries. Frisian Flag is designed to bring fighter pilots from multiple nations together to work on interoperability, planning and execution. Frisian Flag started back in 1992 and is getting bigger each year (with a few exceptions). An area of 200km by 150 km was temporarely reserved exclusively for the exercise and that was mainly above the northern parts of Holland and the Dutch North Sea. Two missions are flown each day and as the missions involve a lot of briefing so double crews where present. Most participants operated multi-role except the Finnish Hornets and German Eurofighters which only flew in the air-to-air role.

This edition saw the participation of Belgian, Dutch, Polish and Norwegian F-16's, English and German Eurofighters/Typhoons, Finnish Hornets and Swedish Gripens. Also some external assets took part operating from their homebases like 493rd FS F-15C's from Lakenheath, an E-3A Awacs from Geilenkrchen and a Sentinel R1 from Waddington. In total 60 planes where stationed at Leeuwarden with 800 military personnel. We choose Wednesday the 25th of April to go to Leeuwarden. The main reason was that the weather didn't play ball the first week. We in this case meant Rob, Raymond, my son Niek and me. The gamble we took payed off as the sun was shining all morning and the Frisian Flag package excisted of 43 aircraft that took off. They flew their missions from runway 27. The local farmers there are to say at the least 'anti-spotter' so we stayed near the public road. I don't wan't to have a fork stuck up my ass !

The place was packed with other spotters and we came across an old friend of ours who stayed with us the rest of the day. In the afternoonbreak we took the opportunity to buy some food and drinks at a gasstation just a half mile away. After the break the weather deteriorated. Fortunately we had almost every single participant photographed. It wasn't getting any better so at around 15.00 hrs. we called it a day and drove back to Twente.