Dutch F-16AMs and American F-15Cs had at it last April during the Florida and Oregon Air National Guard’s composite deployment to the region as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. The awesome video below gives us an in-the-cockpit look at what it is like to spar with an Eagles high over the North Sea.
The F-16’s bubble canopy gives its pilot a spectacular view of the world around them and the 30 degree incline of the ejection seat allows for enhanced sustained G tolerance. The F-15 and F-16 are fantastic Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT) partners, especially in the 1 vs 1 environment depicted in the video above. You can learn all about how the nimble and tight turning F-16 fares against its much larger and heavier Air Force cousin during such fights in this past Foxtrot Alpha feature.
Interoperational training between US and its NATO allies has exploded in volume and magnitude since Russia seized Crimea early last year. Case in point, a detachment of Florida and Oregon Air Guard Eagles remain in Europe today as part of ‘theater security package’ whose presence appears to be indefinite going forward. Today these Eagles are flying sorties in Eastern Europe, near embattled Ukraine and the Black Sea.
Although training, a show of solidarity, and let’s be honest, optics, are the primary missions of this ongoing deployment, these aircraft can be flexed into a hard deterrent or even combat role should Russia begin to act further on their still ambiguous extra-territorial ambitions. But make no mistake, a couple dozen extra USAF fighters and attack aircraft forward deployed to the European theater may be a good start, it is a far cry from an actual force that would be needed to rebuff a Russian land-grab say in the Baltic region.
Contact the author at Tyler@jalopnik.com.
Update: The headline originally said Danish when the pilot is Dutch. We’ve updated. Sorry.