TLP 2007-6; The Italian Navy Harriers are back
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 2007-6 arrived on Monday 19 November and the last participants departed on Friday 14 December. The TLP was held in reasonable weather conditions. Lots of sunny days and no winter in sight. The last TLP of 2007 had to do without any French participation. The Italians however came with a delegation from the Air Force and with the highlight of this TLP, five Harriers from marine station Grottalie in the South of Italy. The Belgium Air Force participated with three F-16s. The Germans Air Force was at Florennes with three F-4F Phantoms from Wittmund and three Tornado ECRs from Lechfeld. The Italians came with two EF-2000s from Grosetto and two Tornado ECRs from Piacenza. The Italian Navy was present with five AV-8+ Harries. The Royal Netherlands Air Force came with four F-16As from Volkel. The Spanish Air Force send six EF-18As from Torrejòn. The Royal Air Force had a small delegation again. Just two Tornado GR4s. Finally, the USAF participated with four Aviano F-16Cs.
Belgium Air Force with F-16A from 2 Wing
German Air Force with F-4F from JG-71and Tornado ECR from JBG-32Italian Air Force with EF-2000 from 4 Stormo and Tornado ECR from 50 Stormo
Italian Navy with AV-8B+ from GRUPAER
Royal Air Force with Tornado GR.4 from 13 Sqn
Royal Netherlands Air Force with F-16A from 312 and 313 Squadron
Spanish Air Force with EF-18A+ from Ala 12
USAF with F-16C from 510th and 555th FS