TLP 2008-3; Turkish Phantoms at the first TLP at Florennes in 2008
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 2008-3 arrived on Friday 16 May and the last participants departed on Friday 13 June. This was the first TLP of 2008 at Florennes. TLP 2008-1 was held at RAF Kinloss in the UK and TLP 2008-2 was cancelled. There were only five different countries present at this edition of TLP. There were no participants from the Belgian, German, Royal and US Air Force. The countries that did participate came with large delegations. The Czech Air Force joined with four L-159As and four JAS-39Cs from Caslav Air Base. The French send five Mirage 2000Ns from Luxeuil and two Rafale Bs from St.Dizier. The Italian participation consisted of five Vipers, three from Cervia Air Base and two from Trapani, together with two AMXs from Istrana. Three EF-2000s from Moron Air Base and four EF-18s from Zaragoza airbase formed the Spanish delegation. And finally, the Turkish Air Force was present again. This time with three F-16s from Diyarbakir Air Base in the centre of Turkey and with the absolute highlight of this TLP, three F-4Es from Konya Air Base.
Czech Air Force with L-159A and JAS-39C from 21.zTL
French Air Force with Mirage 2000N from EC 02.004 and Rafale B from EC 01.007
Italian Air Force with F-16A from 5 Stormo and 37 Stormo and AMX from 51 Stormo
Spanish Air Force with EF-2000 from Ala 11 and EF-18A+ from Ala 15
Turkish Air Force with F-16C from 182 Filo and F-4E from 132 Filo