OOOPS! First Dutch F-35A Accidentally Gets Foam Party Instead of Water Salute.

A Netherlands Air Force F-35A accidentally showered in foam on Thursday. (Photo: Netherlands Air Force)

Fire Crews Were Supposed to Use Water, But Apparently Selected Foam Instead.

In an embarrassing gaff by the Dutch military, the first operational F-35A Lightning II for the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNlAF) got coated in firefighting foam instead of water when the aircraft arrived at Leeuwarden Air Base on Thursday.

The incident wound up on, where a string of amusing and off-color remarks immediately followed.

One report on Facebook said the fire crews had forgotten to switch their tanks from “foam” to “water” following their response to an emergency earlier in the day, resulting in the embarrassing gaff.

The aircraft was being flown by Ian Knight, Commanding Officer of the 323 Test & Evaluation Squadron, the unit that has conducted the F-35A testing for the Dutch military.

This first F-35A to be based in the Netherlands was arriving in Leeuwarden after being ferried from Cameri FACO (Final Assembly And Check Out) facility in Italy, where it was built under license from Lockheed Martin, and carried out its first flights.

The flight was significant since the other eight Dutch F-35As have been conducting flight testing from Edwards AFB in the U.S. The F-35A will replace the F-16 MLU in RNlAF service.

The impromptu Ibiza-style foam party didn’t seem to dampen Dutch spirits any, and the arrival ceremony continued as planned, although no one danced in the foam in celebration.

About Tom Demerly
Tom Demerly is a feature writer, journalist, photographer and editorialist who has written articles that are published around the world on,, Outside magazine, Business Insider, We Are The Mighty, The Dearborn Press & Guide, National Interest, Russia’s government media outlet Sputnik, and many other publications. Demerly studied journalism at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. Tom Demerly served in an intelligence gathering unit as a member of the U.S. Army and Michigan National Guard. His military experience includes being Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Georgia (Cycle C-6-1) and as a Scout Observer in a reconnaissance unit, Company “F”, 425th INF (RANGER/AIRBORNE), Long Range Surveillance Unit (LRSU). Demerly is an experienced parachutist, holds advanced SCUBA certifications, has climbed the highest mountains on three continents and visited all seven continents and has flown several types of light aircraft.