TLP 2005-2; Italian Vipers make their first appearance
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 25 February and the last participants departed on Friday 25 March. The second TLP of 2005 had a great list of participants. For the very first time Italian F-16’s participated on the TLP. The Italian Air Force send three of their “brand new” leased F-16’s from Cervia airbase to the TLP. They were accompanied by three AMX’s from Istrana airbase. Other highlights were the thirteen different F-4 Phantoms from the German (9) and Hellenic Air Force (4), but also four beautiful Tornado GR.4s from the RAF.
The USAF participated with two Vipers from Aviano en two from Spangdahlem.
French Air Force with Mirage 2000N from EC 02.004 and EC 03.004
German Air Force with F-4F from JG-71 and JG-74
Hellenic Air Force with F-4E from 338 Mira
Italian Air Force with F-16A from 5 Stormo and AMX from 51 Stormo
Spanish Air Force with F/A-18 from Ala 46
Royal Air Force with Tornado GR.4A from 9, 12 and 617 Sqn.
USAF with F-16C from 22nd FS, 510th FS and 555th FS