TLP 2008-4; Special painted Tornados on a sunny 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 of TLP 2008-4 arrived on Friday 15 August and the last participants departed on Friday 12 September. This TLP saw a reduced number of participants. Only five countries send a delegation. The RAF with 11 Tornado´s was the largest contributor. The Danish Air Force send six F-16A´s from Skrydstrup Air Base. The French had a minor delegation, only three Mirage 2000´s from Dijon Air Base. The Germans came with eight Tornado IDS´s, four from Nörvenich and four from Büchel. Only three AMX’s from Amendola Air Base formed the delegation of the Italian Air Force. The USAF was at Florennes with four F-16C’s from Spangdahlem Air Base. But the largest delegation was the one of the Royal Air Force. No less than eleven RAF Tornados could be seen during this TLP. Five GR4 versions and six F.3 versions. Two of the Tornados were decorated with special painting. One of the F.3’s had a black tail with the squadrons name “Fighting Cocks” at the top of the fin. One of the GR4’s was also decorated with a special tail this “Shiny Two” was painted to celebrate the 95th anniversary of 2 Squadron.
Danish Air Force with F-16A 730 Sk.
French Air Force with Mirage 2000-5F from EC 01.002
German Air Force with Tornado IDS from JBG 31 and JBG 33
Italian Air Force with AMX from 32 Stormo
Royal Air Force with Tornado GR.4 from 2 and 13 Sqn. and Tornado F.3 from 43 and 111 Sqn.
USAF with F-16C from 22nd FS