Double Dutch Treat

Just as the new Air National Guard chief predicted in September, the Ohio ANG’s 178th Fighter Wing at Springfield, Ohio, will be teaching Dutch airmen how to fly the F-16. The Air Guardsmen, who face the loss of their F-16s under BRAC 2005, now will begin providing F-16 pilot instruction in May to 16 members of the Royal Netherlands Air Force Guard, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer. The Dayton Business Journal quotes Sen. George Voinivich (R-Ohio), who said, “Springfield’s flying expertise will be preserved, while the base transitions toward new missions that will make Springfield invaluable.” Not only does the new Dutch mission save the facility from prospective extinction, but also adds more than 100 jobs, mainly in aircraft maintenance. The agreement with the Dutch calls for 16 Dutch pilots to be trained annually at the base until September 2010.