View from the cockpit. Photo by: Koninklijke Luchtmacht.

It was an unusual mission for five Royal Netherlands air force helicopters. Three Apaches and two Chinooks performed a fly by this weekend at the start of the Formula-1-race in Austin, TX. The five Dutch helicopters, that performed a so-called ‘Missing-Man-formation” as a tribute to fallen comrades, are part of the 302nd Squadron, which is based at Fort Hood in Texas. The Dutch unit includes Apaches, Chinooks and Black Hawks, and has been training at Fort Hood since the mid-1990s.

Dutch and American men and women have fought side-by-side in many conflicts, contributing to stability and promoting peace. The Netherlands and the USA also work closely together to prevent terrorism and combat violent extremism and cybercrimes.


In spite of the Dutch “air support”, Dutch driver Max Verstappen did not win. He abandoned the race after his car had engine problems.