European air forces participating in coalition operations against the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) achieved two milestones this week.
Belgian F-16s operating from Jordan clocked up 7,000 hours flying strike and reconnaissance missions over Iraq and Syria since October 2014. The Belgian and Royal Netherlands Air Force take turns deploying F-16s to Jordan, with the other country providing base security.
During their latest deployment, begun in July 2016, the Belgians conducted 326 missions totalling 3,400 flying hours. Some 45% of these missions were kinetic, involving dropping bombs on targets. Around 80% of these missions were flown over Iraq.
The Belgian F-16s will remain in Jordan until July 1 but they could return in January 2018, subject to parliamentary approval.
Belgian Defense has produced a video of its F-16s in the Mideast.
Meanwhile, Luftwaffe Airbus A310 Multi Role Tanker Transports (MRTT) have conducted aerial refuelings of German Tornado Recce aircraft, both operating against ISIS from Incirlik, Turkey, and of other allied aircraft with 7,500 tons of kerosene since Dec. 16 2015.