TLP 2006-1; Many Belgian Vipers in winters Florennes
The Tactical Leadership Programme was founded in the late 19seventies. Its purpose was to join allied forces and train together in joint operations, but also to generate leaders for challenging multinational air defence and air strike missions. The TLP is a standalone organization based on a Memorandum of Understanding between the air forces of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. During the years other nations have been invited as guests to participate.
The first TLP ever was held at Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base, Germany, in January 1978, but this first edition was strictly academic. The TLP moved to Jever AB, Germany, in September 1979 and the academic course was extended with a flying phase. When the TLP left Jever in 1988, 71 courses were held there and over 1900 aircrews were trained. Florennes AB in Belgium was appointed as the new homebase for the TLP, and hosted its first TLP in March 1989. The TLP stayed at Florennes until July 2009, when the exercise moved to Albacete, Spain, where weather conditions are far better and the aircrews have a large airspace structure to their usage.
The first participants arrived on Friday 13 January and the last participants departed on Thursday 9 February. Although the first TLP of the year did see a small number of sunny days, a large part of this edition was held in cold, misty and rainy conditions. The Belgians and Germans participated with the largest delegation. No less than 9 Belgian F-16A/B’s and 3 Tornado IDS and 8 F-4F Phantoms from the German Air. The French Air Force send 3 Mirage 2000C’s, the Italian Air Force just two F-16A’s and the Spanish Air Force 5 EF-18A’s. The RAF participated with 4 Tornado GR4’s and 2 Hawk T.1’s. And finally the USAF send 4 F-16C’s from Aviano. Two from the 510th FS “Buzzards” and 2 from the 555th FS “Triple Nickel”.
Belgian Air Force with F-16A from 2 and 10 Wing
French Air Force with Mirage 2000C from EC 02
German Air Force with Tornado IDS from JBG-31 and F-4F from JG-71 and JG-74
Italian Air Force with F-16A from 37 Stormo
Spanish Air Force with EF-18A+ from Ala 15
Royal Air Force with Tornado GR.4A from 2, 9 and 13 Sqn. and Hawk T.1A from 100 Sqn.
USAF with F-16C from 510th FS and 555th FS