Annual Dutch Air Force show scrapped amid local pressure, budget priorities

The annual Dutch Air Force show on the Volkel base is cancelled for 2017 and 2018. The event costs the Ministry of Defense too much time and manpower. International missions depleted the availability of F-16's and helicopters and the financial resources are limited, future base commander Rob van den Heuvel said, ANP reports

Van den Heuvel takes over as commander of Volkel on November 1st. Defense wants to take a breather and recover from the international missions the Air Force took part in. "A pause is needed to get things right", he said.

During this "breather", time will be spent on training. Next year the Dutch Air Force will participate in a major United States Air Force training. The Dutch Air Force is also responsible for monitoring the airspace of the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania for the firs quarter of 2017.

This summer the Air Force show drew a total of 280 thousand people to Leeuwarden. Defense used these air force days for recruitment, among other things. According to Van den Heuvel, the Air Fore still needs good staff, but will find it in other ways.