*all photo's taken outside the fence / off base!

On Monday the 17th 2022 exercise Steadfast Noon started. Air forces from across NATO exercised nuclear deterrence capabilities involving dozens of aircraft over north-western Europe. The exercise, which lasted till the 29th October, was a routine, recurring training activity and was not linked to any current world events. Exercise "Steadfast Noon" involved 14 countries and up to 60 aircraft of various types, including fourth and fifth generation fighter jets, as well as surveillance and tanker aircraft. Steadfast Noon is hosted by a different NATO Ally each year. “This exercise helps ensure that the Alliance’s nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure and effective,” said NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu.

Among the participants there were also the Italian Tornado IDS of the 154° Gruppo (Squadron) of the 6° Stormo (Wing) from Ghedi Air Base. Three “Tonkas” (as the Tornados are often nicknamed) deployed to Volkel in the Netherlands, where they arrived between Oct. 17 and 19. During their stay at Volkel they flew four missions after which the trio returned back to Ghedi on October the 28th. It was probably the last time 154° Gruppo Tornado's could be seen at Volkel as the unit is transitioning to the F-35A Lightning II.