High Blaze: Dutch Cougars and Chinooks at Frosinone

As explained in a previous post, Dutch military helicopters have been deploying to Frosinone, Italy, homebase of the 72° Stormo of the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force, ItAF) to conduct training activities in the mountainous areas located around the Italian airport. Tactical low level flights are needed to keep the currencies required to be employed in Afghanistan. Following the AH-64D Apache that visited Frosinone at the beginning of April, 3 CH-47 Chinook of 298 Sqn and 3 AS535U2 Cougar of the 300 Sqn of the KLu (Koninklijke Luchtmacht, the Royal Netherlands Air Force) deployed to the Italian airbase during the first two weeks of June during the operation named “High Blaze” that involved 90 military. The CH-47 performed, on average, 2 daily missions lasting around 3.5 FH (Fligh Hours) while the AS535U2 performed 3 daily 2 FH missions. As usual, when deployed to Frosinone, the Dutch detachment is autonomous; the 72° Stormo provides only the logistic support (food, fire-fighting, ATC services, and Force Protection).

On Jun. 11, Giovanni Maduli was given the possibility to visit the Dutch detachment and take the following pictures.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. On vacation this 26th of july 2011 there happened to be an impressive pass of helicopters over Orvieto town,
    flying roughly from N to S.
    Flying at high altitude, it included a variety of types,
    tbc : A109, NH90, chinook,
    in all maybe 8 helos.

    Any idea what party they were heading for ?

    • They were involved in the Tuscia 2011 exercise that took place in that period to train the 5 Rgt Rigel based at Casarsa to perform Afghan-type Av Btn missions 550 km from their homebase. The ex. ended on Jul. 27.

      • Thanks ! I almost thought I had somehow misssed an airshow…

        Our stay in Alta Tuscia also treated us on a low pass by a C130J. From a hilltop, the rare view of a hercules and its shadow, both hugging the terrain, was impressive. It struck me as very silent, compared to our Belgian workhorses.

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