NATO Tiger Meet 2011
Event
Location

Date

NATO Tiger Meet
Cambrai
France
May 9th - May 20th

G-CDVX 225068 W-D P-47 Snafu

Back to Airshow Season 2011

 

History

The NATO Tiger Meet is a tradition that started 50 years ago, in 1961. In 1960, the USAFE 79th TFS, flying the F-100 at that time, and No. 74 Sqn of the RAF, flying the Lighning, and both Squadrons sporting a tiger as their Squadron crest, arranged a small social get together. In 1961, following the wishes of M. Pierre Messner (the then French minister of defence), the USAFE 79th TFS took the initiative and invited the RAF No. 74 Sqn and the French Armée de l'air EC01.012 Sqn, flying Super Mystère B2s, to Woodbridge in England. where the Association of Tiger Squadrons was established in order to improve relationships between the individual squadrons within NATO. The following aims, which are still valid to date, were formulated:

  • Improvement of solidarity between NATO members
  • The creation and maintenance of team-spirit and camaraderie between the participating members
  • The exchange of experiences and cooperation in line with the military goals of NATO

The common factor for these Tiger Meets is that each invited Squadron has a Tiger symbol in their Squadron crest (although this rule was “relaxed” a bit to include various other “cats”). The meetings were an instant success and were held annually ever since.

The NTM had evolved greatly over those 50 years. In the early years the main purpose was merely a social get together from Tiger Squadrons, whereas nowadays it is a two week NATO exercise encompassing a range of different scenarios and tactical flying exercises involving a great mix of aircraft types operated by the various Tiger units.

Missions involve range firing, air-to-air missions, low level navigation missions and COMAO missions. The objective of COMAO missions (Composite Air Operations) is to enhance the ability of selected aircrew members and mission planners.  This is achieved by effectively integrating the various attack/support components within a package, plan tactics which best consider the capabilities and limitations of each system, communicate the plan, assemble the package and brief a composite attack force mission.
The helicopters are usually integrated as Forward Air Controllers (FAC) or in a CSAR role.

The last four NATO Tiger Meets were even incorporated into larger scale exercises like AIRNORTH's Clean Hunter 01 and Daring Eagle 02. During an average Tiger meet no less than 250 sorties are flown. Between all of the briefing, planning, flying the mission and debriefing, a Tiger Meet nowadays also means hard work for both the air- and ground crews.

The NTM always starts with the arrival of the participants, followed by an opening ceremony were all the flags of the participating countries are raised. From then on the operations start. In the morning most participants fly local missions among each other, while in the afternoon the COMAO's are flown against 'red forces' which are in most cases units from the host nation's country acting as “enemy forces”.

By the end of the OPS week it is time to tighten social strengths between all participating units. It is during these days that the well-known Tiger Games are executed. Tiger Games are mainly a mix of fun and sports.

A Tiger Meet is always concluded by lowering the flags, followed by the traditional farewell party where various awards are handed out. Out of all the awards, the Silver Tiger Trophy is the most important one.

 

2011 edition

As mentioned before, 2011 sports the 50th edition of the Tiger Meet, which was held at BA (Base Aérienne) 103 at Cambrai Eponoy. BA103 has always been the home of the Escadron de Chasse 01.012 Cambrésis.

2011 was the 7th time that EC 01.012 Sqn hosted the Tiger Meet at Cambrai. As a result they join the Belgian 31st FS, who also had the honors of hosting a NTM for 7 times.

Unfortunately it was also the last time that EC 01.012 would be hosting the NTM, since, due to French defense department restructurations, the Squadron is scheduled to be disbanded on March 30th , 2012.
EC 01.012 is the last of the actively participating founding Squadrons of the NATO Tiger Meet (the 79th FS redeployed to the US in 1993 and the 74 Sqn disbanded in 2000), so it was only appropriate that they would be given the honor of hosting the meet one last time, before deactivation.

The French tiger tradition will not be lost however as the Squadron will be transferred to BA113 Saint-Dizier where they will join EC 01.007 “Provence”, flying Rafales.

Consequently, this year's edition of the NTM could count on a great deal of interest. In order to cope with the demand, no less than three spotterdays were organized, on the 11th , 16th and 17th of May.
It was supposed to be the largest Tiger Meet ever but severe budget cuts in NATO forces and turbulent action in Libya resulted in a number of cancellations due to operational reasons.

Nevertheless, the 2011 edition could still count on over 60 aircraft from over 15 nations.

New member to the NTM in 2011 was the Polish 6th FS, flying the F-16C/D Block 52+. The Greek AF was also welcomed back after a 3 year transition period from A-7 Corsair IIs to the F-16C/D block 52+. Honorary member was 1 Sqn of the Slovak Air Force, bringing in 2 MiG-29s.

Cancellations came from the Belgian 31st FS (participation reduced from 5 F-16s to just the special Tiger Paint aircraft), 3 JAS 39C Gripens from the Hungarian AF 59/1 Sqn, 3 Rafales from the French EC 05/330 Sqn, 5 F-16 from the Netherlands 313 Sqn, 5 F-16s from the Norwegian NoAF 338 Sqn, 2 Puma helicopters from the RAF 230 Sqn and the NATO E-3 Awacs.

Some Squadrons only stayed for a couple of days, such as the the Spanish Mirage F1s of the Escuadrón 142, Spanish Hornets of ALA 15, Portuguese F-16s of 301 Sqn, the Slovak MiGs and the Royal Navy Merlin of 814 Sqn.

A full list of Nato Tiger Squadrons, past NTMs and the 2011 NTM participants can be found at the bottom of this article.

The 2011 edition lasted two weeks and the flag raising ceremony was held on Monday, May 9th . On that same day, the 335 Mira Sqn was promoted to full membership status. The exercises than started the very next day, on May 10th .

The flag lowering ceremony was held on Thursday, May 19th , which was followed by the after show party. This is also the time at which the trophies are handed out. This year, the bulk of them went to the Portuguese Jaguares of 301 Sqn.

Another tradition of the NTM is painting aircraft in special tiger schemes. 2011 provided no exception and produced some interesting new designs. The host Squadron painted two Mirage 2000 aircraft, one in a special 50th anniversary scheme and one with a tiger tail. The other French Mirage 2000 unit, ECE 05.330, produced a tiger schemed jet. The Belgian 31st FS F-16 is also always a great sight for sore eyes.
The trophy for best paint scheme this year went to the German Panthers of AG 51 with their black Tornado.

I think the EC 01.012 can be proud of their efforts for the 2011 Tiger Meet. It was a nice and well organized event from a spotter's point of view. As always, when a Tiger Meet ends, efforts are already made to plan next year's event.

The 2012 edition of the NTM will be hosted by the Norwegian 338 Skvadron at Oerland MAS, from May 29th until June 8th .

Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!


Participating aircraft list

Country Squadron Aircraft Type Aircraft Registration
France EC01.012 Mirage 2000B/C 80/103-LA (Tiger)
81/103-LB
82/103-YL
85/103-LK
86/103-LL
87/103-LA
88/103-KV (Tiger)
91/103-YR
95/103-KM
96/103-KI
98/103-YU
100/103-YF
101/103-KE
102/103-KR
104/103-KG
106/103-KL
107/103-YD
108/103-LC
109/103-YH
112/103-KQ
114/103-KU
118/103-YG
119/103-LJ
120/103-KC
122/103-YE
123/103-KD
124/103-YT

ECE 05.330 Mirage 2000 RDI 42/102-EY
44/118-EQ (Tiger)
65/118-MG

Germany AG 51 Tornado IDS 43+48
44+61
44+69
45+35
45+51 (Panther)
46+10

JBG32 Tornado ECR 46+29 Lego
46+33 Tiger
46+44
46+46

Czech Republic 211 Sqn JAS-39C/D Grippen 9235 Tiger
9238
9245 Tiger
9819 (D)

  Mil-Mi 35 3361
3367 Tiger

Italy 21 Gruppo AB-212ICO MM81215
MM81217

Austria 1 JTS Saab OE105 YI-09
RG-27
RF-26 Tiger

Turkey 192 Sqn F-16 C/D 93-0679
93-0682 Tiger
93-0696 Tiger (D)

Greece 335 Mira F-16C/D Block 52+ 003
010
021 (D)

Poland 6 Sqn F-16C/D Block 52+ 4055
4058
4060 Tiger
4061
4082 Tiger

Switzerland 11 Staffel F-18C/D Hornet J-5011 Tiger
J-5014
J-5015
J-5023
J-5236 (D)

Portugal 301 Sqn F-16A/B MLU 15102
15106 Jaguar
15109
15114
15117
15123

  59/1 Sqn Observer **  
Belgium 31 Sqn F-16A/B MLU FA-87
Spain 142 Sqn Mirage F1 ** C.14-41/14-22
C.14-56/14-31

Ala 15 Sqn EF-18A Hornet C.15-27/15-14
C.15-40/15-27
C.15-41/15-28 Tiger

Slovakia 1 Sqn MiG-29 ** 0619 AS Digital
5304 UBS

United Kingdom 814 Sqn Merlin HM.1 ZH860 Tiger
** Week 1 only
* Weekend visitors

 

2010 Tiger Trophies

Silver Tiger Trophy Eqsuadra 301 Portugal
Best Flying Unit Esquadra 301 Portugal
Tiger Games Winner Fliegerstaffel 11 Switzerland
Best Skit Esquadra 301 Portugal
Best Looking Uniform Escadron de Chasse et d'Expérimentation 05.330 France
Most Fancy Paintscheme Aufklarungsgeschwader 51 Germany


Tiger Units

(Clicking the link will take you to the excellent NATO Tigers website and will allow you to view a brief explanation of that particular Tiger Unit)

Full Members
N°1 Squadron
Geilenkirchen (MOB)
NATO
NATO AEWCF
Flottille11F
Landivisiau
France
French Navy
Fliegerstaffel 11
Meiringen AB
Switzerland
Swiss Air force
Escadron de Chasse 01.012
BA 103 Cambrai
France
French Air Force
XII Gruppo CI
Gioia del Colle
Italy
Italian Air Force
ALA 15
BA Zaragoza
Spain
Spanish Air Force
21 Gruppo
Grazzanise
Italy
Italian Air Force
31 Smaldeel
Kleine Brogel
Belgium
Belgian Air Force
Aufklarungsgeschwader 51
Schleswig-Jagel
Germany
German Air Force
142 Escuadrón
Albacete - Los LIanos
Spain
Spanish Air force
192 Filo
Balikesir
Turkey
Turkish Air Force
211th Tactical Squadron
Caslav
Czech Republic
Czech Air Force
221 squadron
Namest
Czech Republic
Czech Air Force
230 Squadron
RAF Benson
United Kingdom
Royal Air Force
Esquadra 301
BA5 Monte Real
Portugal
Portuguese Air Force
313 squadron
Vlb Volkel
Netherlands
Royal Netherlands Air Force
Jagdbomberstaffel 321
Lechfeld
Germany
German Air Force
Escadron de Chasse et d'Expérimentation 05.330
BA 118 Mont-de-Marsan
France
French Air Force
335 Squadron
Araxos
Greece
Helenic Air Force
338 Skvadron
Orland
Norway
Royal Norwegian Air Force
814 Squadron
NAS Culdrose
United Kingdom
Royal Navy
Honorary Members
1 Squadron
Gwalior - Maharajpur AFS
India
Indian Air Force
1st Fighter Squadron
Sliac
Slovakia
Slovak Air Force
Patrol Squadron 8
NAS Jacksonville, FL
United States of America
United States Navy
37th Bomb Squadron
Ellesworth AFB, SD
United States of America
United States Air Force
79th Fighter Squadron
Shaw AFB, SC
United States of America
United States Air Force
120th Figter Squadron
Buckley AFB, CO
United States of America
US Air National Guard
141st Air Refueling Squadron
McGuire AFB, NJ
United States of America
US Air National Guard
391rd Fighter Squadron
Mountain Home AFB, ID
United States of America
United States Air Force
393rd Bomb Squadron
Whiteman AFB, MO
United States of America
United States Air Force
439 Squadron
CFB Bagotville, Que
Canada
Royal Canadian Air Force
Jet Trainer Squadron
Flh. Vogler
Austria
Austrian Air Force
   
Probationary Members
6 Fighter Squadron
Poznan-Krzesiny
Poland
Polish Air Force
59/1 Puma Squadron
Kecskemét
Hungary
Hungarian Air Force
   
Disbanded Members
Aufklarungsgeschwader 52
Germany
German Air Force
53rd Fighter Squadron
United States of America
United States Air Force
74 (F) Squadron
United Kingdom
Royal Air Force
336 Squadron
Norway
Royal Norwegian Air Force
Jagdbomberstaffel 431
Germany
German Air Force
   


Previous Tiger Meetings

(Clicking the link will take you to the excellent NATO Tigers website and will allow you to view a brief explanation of the Tiger Meeting of that particular year)

  NTM-2012
338 Skvadron
Oerland MAS
Norway
NTM-2011
Escadron de Chasse 01.012
BA Cambrai
France
NTM-2010
313 squadron
Vlb. Volkel
Netherlands
NTM-2009
31 Smaldeel
Kleine Brogel AB
Belgium
NTM-2008
Flottille11F
Landivisiau
France
NTM-2007
338 Skvadron
Orland
Norway
NTM-2006
142 Escuadrón
Albacete
Spain
NTM-2005
192 Filo
Balikesir
Turkey
NTM-2004
Aufklarungsgeschwader 51
Schleswig-Jagel
Germany
NTM-2003
Escadron de Chasse 01.012
BA Cambrai
France
NTM-2002
Esquadra 301
Beja
Portugal
NTM-2001
31 Smaldeel
Kleine Brogel AB
Belgium
NTM-1998
Jagdbomberstaffel 321
Lecheld
Germany
NTM-1997
International Air Tattoo
RAF Fairford
United Kingdom
NTM-1996
Esquadra 301
Beja
Portugal
NTM-1994
Escadron de Chasse 01.012
BA Cambrai
France
NTM-1993
31 Smaldeel
Kleine Brogel AB
Belgium
NTM-1992
142 Escuadrón
Albacete
Spain
NTM-1991
International Air Tattoo
RAF Fairford
United Kingdom
NTM-1990
79th Fighter Squadron
RAF Upper Heyford
United Kingdom
NTM-1988
21 Gruppo
Cameri
Italy
NTM-1987
Esquadra 301
Montijo
Portugal
NTM-1986
Escadron de Chasse 01.012
BA Cambrai
France
NTM-1985
31 Smaldeel
Kleine Brogel AB
Belgium
NTM-1984
Aufklarungsgeschwader 52
GAF Leck
Germany
NTM-1983
439 Squadron
CAF Baden Sollingen
Germany
NTM-1982
230 Squadron
RAF Gütersloh
Germany
NTM-1981
53rd Fighter Squadron
Bitburg
Germany
NTM-1980
21 Gruppo
Cameri
Italy
NTM-1979
Escadron de Chasse 01.012
BA Cambrai
France
NTM-1978
31 Smaldeel
Kleine Brogel AB
Belgium
NTM-1977
79th Fighter Squadron
RAF Greenham Common
United Kingdom
NTM-1976
439 Squadron
CAF Baden Sollingen
Germany
NTM-1975
Aufklarungsgeschwader 52
GAF Leck
Germany
NTM-1974
53rd Fighter Squadron
Bitburg
Germany
NTM-1973
21 Gruppo
Cameri
Italy
NTM-1972
Escadron de Chasse 01.012
BA Cambrai
France
NTM-1971
Jagdbomberstaffel 431
RAF Upper Heyford
United Kingdom
NTM-1970
31 Smaldeel
Kleine Brogel AB
Belgium
NTM-1969
79th Fighter Squadron
RAF Woodbridge
United Kingdom
NTM-1968
439 Squadron
CAF Lahr
Germany
NTM-1967
Aufklarungsgeschwader 52
GAF Leck
Germany
NTM-1966
74 (F) Squadron
RAF Leuchars
United Kingdom
NTM-1965
53rd Fighter Squadron
Bitburg
Germany
NTM-1964
Escadron de Chasse 01.012
BA Cambrai
France
NTM-1963
31 Smaldeel
Kleine Brogel AB
Belgium
  NTM-1962
79th Fighter Squadron
RAF Woodbridge
United Kingdom
  NTM-1961
79th Fighter Squadron
RAF Woodbridge
United Kingdom


Sources: NATO Tigers website & the NATO Tigers 50 years book

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