TLP 2007-1; The final appearance of RAF Jaguars
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 of TLP 2007-1 arrived on Friday 12 January and the last participants departed on Friday 9 February. The first TLP of 2007 saw a limited number of sunny days and most missions started and ended in a grey and dark Belgian landscape. Eight different countries participated in this TLP.
The Belgium Air Force with six F-16As from 10 Wing. The French Air Force send four Mirage 2000s and two Rafales. The German Air Force were present with no less than seven Tornados, four from Nörvenich and three from Schleswig Jägel. Four Mirage 2000s from Tanagra Airbase formed the Greek delegation. The Italians came with two F-16s and two AMXs. The Royal Norwegian Air Force send four F-16s and a Falcon 20. The USAFE came to Florennes with three F-15s from 493rd FS from RAF Lakenheath. But the most memorable delegation was sent by the Royal Air Force (RAF). Not because of the two Typhoons F.2s from Coningsby, but because of the four Jaguar GR.3As from 6 Sqn. which was also based at RAF Coningsby. 6 Sqn. was the last squadron to fly the Jaguar until the RAF withdrew this type from active duty in April 2007. This TLP was therefore sadly the last Jaguar appearance at a major exercise.
Belgium Air Force with F-16A from 10 Wing
French Air Force with Mirage 2000N from EC.03.004 and Mirage 2000C from EC.01.005 and Rafale B from EC.01.007
German Air Force with Tornado IDS from JBG-31 and AKG-51
Hellenic Air Force with Mirage 2000EG from 332 Mira
Italian Air Force with F-16A from 37 Stormo and AMX from 51 Stormo
Norwegian Air Force with F-16A from 331 Skv.
Royal Air Force with Typhoon F.2 from 3 Sqn. and Jaguar GR.3A from 6 Sqn. USAF with F-15C from 493rd FS