TLP 2005-4; The Mad Hatters are back in town
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 27 May and the last participants departed on Friday 24 June. Eight different countries participated in this spring edition and brought a lot of diversity to the Belgian Ardennes. Denmark, Greece and Italy participated with Vipers. The French send 6 Mirage 2000’s from three different units and 4 Super Etendards from the Navy. The Germans send 4 Tornado’s from Büchel and the Royal Air Force was present with 3 different plane types; Harriers, Jaguars and Tornado F.3’s. And the “Mad Hatters” were back at Florennes for their yearly appearance with F-15E Strike Eagles. The 492nd last participated in TLP 2004-1.
French Air Force with Mirage 2000N from EC 01.004 and EC 02.012 and with Mirage 2000-SF from EC 05.330
French Navy with Super Etendard from 17 Flotille
German Air Force with Tornado IDS from JBG-33
Hellenic Air Force with F-16C from 343 Mira
Italian Air Force with F-16A from 5 Stormo
Royal Danish Air Force with F-16A from Esk. 726 and 730
Royal Air Force with Harrier GR.7u from 1 and 3 Sqn., Tornado F.3 from 25 Sqn. and 111 Sqn. and Jaguar GR.3A from 41 Sqn. and
Spanish Air Force with Falcon 20E from 408 Esc.
USAF with F-15E from 492nd FS