TLP 2006-6; A Home game for the Belgian Vipers
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 2006-6 arrived on Friday 3 November and the last participants departed on Friday 1 December. In the years before, the sixth TLP edition in a year was held in a more weather friendly country like Spain, Italy or Turkey. But not this year. The last TLP of 2006 was at the TLP home base, Florennes.
It was not one the busiest TLP’s of the year, with only six participating countries, and a limited number of aircraft.
The Belgium Air Force participated with six F-16s from 2 Wing from home base Florennes. The French Air Force send four Mirage 2000s, two from Nancy and two from Orange. The Germans were present with four F-4F Phantoms, two from Wittmund and two from Neuburg. The Italians had a larger delegation. Two F-16A Vipers from Cervia and five Tornado ECRs from Piacenza-San Damiano. The Royal Air Force had the largest delegation with four Jaguar GR.3s from 6 Sqn., two Tornado GR.4s and three Tornado F.3s from 43 Sqn. “the Fighting Cocks”. Finally, USAFE came to Florennes with three F-16s from Spangdahlem in Germany.
Belgium Air Force with F-16A and B from 2 Wing
French Air Force with Mirage 2000D from EC.01.003 and Mirage 2000C from EC.02.005
German Air Force with F-4F from JG-71 and JG-74
Italian Air Force with F-16 from 5 Stormo and Tornado ECR from 50 Stormo
Royal Air Force with Tornado GR.4 from 15 and 31 Sqn., and Tornado F.3 from 43 Sqn. and Jaguar GR.3 from 6 Sqn.
USAF with F-16C from 23rd FS