TLP 2006-5; First 2006 appearance of the Grim Reapers

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. 

TLP 2006-5
The first participants arrived on Friday 1 September and the last participants departed on Friday 29 September.
The French Air Force was the main contributor of this TLP with no less than 8 different Mirages; 5 Mirage 2000’s and 3 Mirage F.1’s. The German Air Force was present with 6 Tornado ECR’s from Lechfeld AB in the South of Germany. There were 9 F-16’s participating. 5 from the Royal Norwegian Air Force and 4 Greek F-16C’s from Souda AB at the island of Crete. The Italian and Spanish Air Force sent a small delegation. Only 2 Italian AMX’s and only 2 Spanish F/A-18’s from Gando Airbase. 3 Tornado GR.4’s and 2 Tornado F.3’s formed the RAF delegation. And finally the “Grim Reapers” from Lakenheath AB made their first 2006 appearance with 5 of their F-15 Eagles.

The participants:
French Air Force with Mirage 2000D from EC.02.003, Mirage 2000N from EC.02.004 and Mirage F.1CR from ER.01.033
German Air Force with Tornado ECR from JBG-32
Hellenic Air Force with F-16C from 340 Mira
Italian Air Force with AMX from 32 Stormo
Royal Norwegian Air Force with F-16A from 331 Skv.
Royal Air Force with Tornado GR.4 from 9, 14 and 31 Sqn., and Tornado F.3 from 111 Sqn.
Spanish Air Force with F/A-18A from Ala 46
USAF with F-15C from 493th FS