2001 Hopsten exercise Clean Hunter

Clean Hunter was an annual held NATO exercises with several participating countries and airbases. An European (war) conflict was simulated; resulting in base attacks, CAP’s and deployments. Hopsten AB saw the deployment of Turkish F4E Phantoms.

One very special moment during this day, which I was unable to photograph due to the distance and (low level) speed, was the passing in the South of 4 F15’s and 2 B1B Lancers! These flew very low level (just visible through the trees) very fast in formation 2xF15/ B1/ 2x F15/ B1 to the East, simulating an attack run towards some target in the East. The B1’s were temporarily based in the UK (RAF Fairford) for this exercise, the Eagles were from Lakenheath AB.

The log of this day shows the large amount of movements during such an exercise - besides the depolyment of Turkish F-4E Phantoms the Dutch 313sq and 315sq were also operating out of Hopsten air base due to the closed runway of their native air base Twenthe . One thing I remarked about this dat was: F4E's do not leave smoke trails!

Take off 1st wave 10:15 - 11:08 (17 aircraft)

  • F16B 315sq: J-209, J-369 
  • F16A 313sq: J-875 (Tiger c/s), J-144 
  • F16A 315sq: J-145, J-365, J-136, J-362, J-060
  • F4F JG72: 37+31, 38+43, 37+44, 37+52
  • F4E 112Filo: 67-0376, 67-0391, 68-0383, 68-0348

10:25 1x PD808 x opposite, mh

Landing 1st wave 11:15 - 12:10

  • The same aircraft as take-off

11:35 37+38 F4F JG72 take off without fuel tanks and performing some sort of 10 minutes demo before landing again! 


Take off 2nd wave 13:30 - 15:00 (18 aircraft)

  • F16A 315sq: J-058, J-060, J-145, J-365, J-136, J-362
  • F16B 315sq: J-209, J-369
  • F16B 313sq: J-657 (Tiger c/s)
  • F4F JG72: 37+42, 37+12, 37+29, 37+52, 37+31, 38+43, 38+64 
  • F4E 112Filo: 68-0383, 68-0348

Landing 2nd wave 14:30 - 16:45

  • The same aircraft as take-off

16:34 37+38 F4F JG72 take off without fuel tanks and performing some sort of 10 minutes demo before landing again!


Visitors and movements 

  • 12:30 4x F16 passing high direction North
  • 12:50 1x CH53G passing 2000ft direction NNE
  • 14:00 1x E3 passing high direction North, radar not spinning
  • 14:04 2x A10A 81FS/52FW overshoot, turning to W
  • 14:30 2x Tornado 2000ft direction North, close formation
  • 14:40 1x CH53G direction W, low overshoot
  • 14:47 2x Tornado direction South turning SW, close form 5000ft
  • 14:51 1x Tornado direction North 5000ft
  • 14:54 F 44+19 +1 Tornado JBG31 low overshoot , wheels down, close formation
  • 2x Tornado direction SSW, close formation, 5000ft
  • 15:30 4x F16 passing high direction South (most likely same as 12:30?)
  • 16:10 86-0096/EL B1B 37BS/28BW + 86-0113/EL B1B 37BS/28BW + 4x F15 visible in South low level high speed direction East/North East; formation: 2 fighters, B1B, 2 fighters, B1B. Clean Hunter mission. B1B's TDY Waddington.