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aviation news & photography by edwin schimmel
Home » 2021 » Leeuwarden 2021

WIC 2021 is a 6-months training course held at Leeuwarden for the best and most experienced pilots to become weapon instructors. Leeuwarden Air Base has been the center of knowledge in the field of target practice and fighter flight operations since the 1950s. This is due to its strategic location close to the exercise areas above the North Sea and the existing military airspace above the north of the Netherlands. But also because of the extensive facilities at the airbase and the nearby Cornfieldrange on the Vliehors. WIC 2021 currently underway takes place between May 3 and Oct. 22, 2021. After about four weeks of theory lessons, at the end of June, the first flying phase started with the air-to-air missions. During this stage pilots learn in depth about tactics and weapon systems and how to instruct at a higher level. Then, they also fly more complicated air-to-air missions starting with 1-v-1 fights and then increasingly complex scenarios with more and more aircraft. Most mission are flown above the North Sea in the Northern part of the Netherlands supported by Dutch and international aircraft.After a two week summer break the course will continue in August with an air-to-surface phase. During this part of the course, pilots will learn about tactics, weapon systems and sensors used in the air-to-ground role. And finally, after one more study week the pilots will do their exams during the mission employment phase in October. For the final part of the training, pilots will have to lead large formations of fighter and support aircraft to gain experience in planning, executing and debriefing large missions.