report by: Danny Bonny and Mike Danks
NATO Tiger Meet has been on my calendar for the past four years and is not one to be missed. Over those years the spotters’ days have allowed an up close and personal view of the participating aircraft with opportunities to speak to crew manning the stalls selling anything and everything tiger squadron related. The 53rd edition year’s NATO TIGER MEET was held at BAN Landivisiau by 11 Flottille. Located in the vicinity of the town of Landivisiau, some 30 kilometers from Brest, the naval airbase of Landivisiau ensures, since February 1, 1965, the support of the whole embarked fighter fleet of the Force Maritime de l’Aéronautique Navale. 1.600 personnal, of which 220 civilians, assorted to four service groups, ensure the operational, technical and logistical support of the three Flottilles : 11F, 12F and 17F but also of its squadron 57S.
The Flottille 11F is the oldest fighter training school of the Aéronautique Navale. The first fighter squadron of the Aviation d’Escadre, created on March, 1, 1919. In these days, the squadron was equipped with Hanriot HD.2. At the start of the Sceond World War in September 1939, the AC1, ancestor of the 11F, was equipped with obsolete Dewoitine 373/376. From August 1951 till June 1952 she sees action in Indochina aboard the aircraft carrier Arromanches flying American F6F5 Hellcat. The Flottille was disbanded a first time on January 17, 1955 and reactivated on April 4, 1955. Disbanded again on April 18, 1962, she was restored to active service on Dassault Etendard IV.M on April 1, 1963. The 11F left BAN Hyères-Le Palyvestre in May 1967, to move onto its actual base at Landivisau.
Equipped with the Dassault Super Etendard from September 1978, the Flottille 11F was tasked with naval and land assault day and night missions. At the end of 2010 the Flottille starts her conversion onto the Dassault Rafale M and on September 19, 2011. Equipped with the Dassault Super Etendard from September 1978, the Flottille 11F was tasked with naval and land assault day and night missions. The aircraft were armed with anti-ship missiles AM-39 Exocet and fitted to carry the nuclear bomb AN-52. Originally issued from the correspondence between RAF 74 squadron and the US Air Force Tigers at Woodbridge, the 79th TFS of the 20TFW. It was then decided to establish common operational exchange. Escadron de Chasse 01.012 Cambresis was one of the 3 units to participate at the very first Tiger Meet in 1961. In 1962 the Tiger Meet was a much bigger affair and eight squadron were represented. Then the exercice grew up until reaching it’s actual size!
Tiger Meet is one of the longest running NATO exercises (although not formal) with participating aircraft from European nations, both old and new. The exercise runs for two weeks and this year had spotters’ days on the two separate weeks. The exercise is designed to train the air forces in Combined Air Operations (COMAO) but also to give them to train for specific needs. These include Close Air Support (CAS) working with Forward Air Controllers (FAC), slow mover protection/Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) and Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT).
There are two waves per day with the shadow wave launching in the morning. This is where the individual training needs are flown. The afternoon wave is the much larger COMAO with all aircraft working together to complete a set of objectives. These aircraft mainly all launch and recover from the host base, apart from the AWACS and tanker assets which normally fly from their home bases. During those two weeks, more than 800 exercises and 1.200 hours were flown and to achieve these results some 800 pilots and technicians were needed to accomplish the very complex tactical missions.
Below are 2017s participating squadrons and extra non Tiger Squadron assets taken from the Tiger Association website:
French Navy Flotille 11F BAN Landivisiau Rafale M
Swiss Air Force Staffel 11 Meiringen AB F/A-18C/D Hornet
Austrian Air Force 1 JTS Vogler AB Saab 105Öe
Italian Air Force XII Gruppo Gioia del Colle EF2000 Typhoon
Italian Air Force 21° Gruppo Grazzanise AB-212ICO
French Air Force ECE 01/30 (FAF) BA118 Mont-de-Marsan Rafale C/B
French Air Force EC 3/30 (FAF) BA118 Mont-de-Marsan Rafale C/B
Belgian Air Force 31 Squadron Kleine Brogel AB F-16AM/BM
Czech Air Force 211 TL Cáslav AB JAS-39C/D Gripen
Dutch Air Force 313 Squadron Volkel AB F-16AM/BM
Royal Air Force 230 Squadron RAF Benson Puma HC Mk2
Royal Navy 814 Squadron NAS Culdrose Merlin HM. MK2
French Army EHRA 3 BA d’Étain-Rouvres SA 342 M Gazelle
NATO 1st Squadron Geilenkirchen AB E-3A Sentry (1x) (Flying from MOB)
French Navy Flottille 4F BAN Lann-Bihoué E-2CHawkeye
French Army 5 RHC BA Pau EC665 Tigre HAP
Royal Navy 849 Squadron NAS Culdrose Sea King ASaC Mk7
Polish Air Force 6 ELT Poznan-Krzesiny AB (No plane)
Greece Air Force 335 Mira Araxos AB (No plane)
Royal Norwegian Air Force 338 Skv MAS Ørland F-16AM/BM
German Air Force TaktLwG 51 Schleswig-Jagel AB Tornado ECR & IDS
German Air Force TaktLwG 74 Neuburg AB EF2000 Typhoon
Czech Air Force 221 LtBVr Námest AB Mil Mi-24 Hind
With next year’s Tiger Meet being held at Poznan – Krzesiny Air Base by 6 ELT, I suspect it will be a popular one to attend. Globalairpower would like to thank Lieutenant Elyne Lamarre for arranging the media-day and All the staff off NAS Landivisiau for their hospitality and help during our visits.