In March 2013 the area around the former Twenthe Airbase was the scene of a large exercise called Cerberus Guard where airmobile forces had the objective to capture the airfield. This article is a throwback to the exercise.
After capturing the airfield, an operating base was established from where the forward bases in Losser and Oldenzaal were supported. From these bases several actions took place, ammongst others in the FC Twente Stadium.
But first during Exercise Cerberus Guard Twenthe airfield had to be captured. The night before, already some pathfinders were dropped close to the airfield. Then on Wednesday 20 March troops of 11 Airmobile Brigade were transported by Cougars and Chinooks of the Defense Helicopter Command to capture the airfield.
Troops were dropped close to the runway and fought their way towards the control tower, where the “enemy” occupied several buildings. The goal was to clear this area and to establish control of the airfield.
After access to the airfield was secured, the Pathfinders took control of the runway, so that they could guide Hercules aircraft to the airfield. These aircraft would fly daily replenishment missions from Eindhoven Airbase to Twenthe, in order to supply the troops with all things they required for their mission. This ranged from food to ammunition.
This also proved to be a valuable training for the Hercules crew, as being able to perform tactical operations in the Netherlands is quite rare.