Mission statement

In General

With the end of the Cold War era and the resulting changes in the military situation in Europe, the peace time tasks of the Royal Netherlands Air Force were emphasized. Attention shifted to both peace keeping and peace enforcing during out of area operations, world wide. Examples are the contributions to peace operations in Israel and Turkey during the 2nd Gulf War, operations in Rwanda, Cambodia and the contributions to actions in the former Yugoslavia.

Key to this change in task are mobility and speed.

Peace Time Operations


The presence of an Air Force can deter potential opponents. The key is the direct power provided by jet fighters, attack helicopters, and guided weapons.

Support in crisis situations

Air power can offer support in both national and international operations, such as relief operations that require evacuation or transportation of medical and relief goods.

Observation and protection of airspace

Jet fighters of the RNLAF are ready to protect national and allied airspace. After detection by the radar system of a Control and Reporting Center (CRC), jet fighters will be scrambled to identify unknown aircraft in Dutch airspace. By cooperating with other radar systems like NATO's Airborne Early Warning Force (AEWF), this task can be performed anywhere in the world.

War time operations

Control of air space over own territory

Control of air space, over both own as well as enemy territory, is vital. The protection it offers can prevent the enemy to exploit aircraft and missiles and at the same time positively affects own operations by own land and sea forces.

Control of airspace over enemy territory

By controlling enemy airspace, its use by the enemy is therefore denied. Air superiority allows the enemy to be hit in many ways. Control of airspace is not only vital during large scale war time operations such as the Gulf War but is also vital during smaller operations and humanitarian relief actions.

Surveillance and observation

Air power can be used to gather information on behalf of own aircraft, as well as land forces and sea forces ("knowledge is power").

Airlift capability

Airlift capability is vital in Air Force operations. Aircraft and helicopters move personnel and material effectively over long distances and by exploiting aerial refueling capacity, distance itself becomes a less important factor.