Last TLP flying course of 2021

The last flying course of the Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP) 2021 commenced on November 15 and is due to conclude on December 3.

Hosted at Albacete Air Base, Spain, the TLP 21-4 flying course has seen more than 30 aircraft of both 4th and 5th generation types. These included Lockheed Martin F35As, Eurofighter Typhoon EF2000s, legacy F/A-18 Hornets, F-16 Fighting Falcons, Mirage 2000Ds, Panavia Tornado PA200IDS, AV-8B+ Harrier IIs and E-3A AWACS. 

Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace (French Air and Space Force) Mirage and Rafale fighters on the flightline at Albacete Air Base, Spain for the TLP 21-4 flying course. Ejército del Aire

They came from various nations including France, Germany, Greece, Italy, NATO, Spain, the UK and US. Approximately 1,000 military personnel have participated in the three-week exercise, 47 of these participants are graduates of the flying course, which consists of 36 pilots, six intelligence officers and five air traffic controllers.

The first week of the course was dedicated purely to academic activity in tactical leadership and simulator flights. The first flights took place from November 22.

Aircraft were split throughout the flying course between blue (friendly) air assets and red (adversary) air assets. A total of 28 aircraft acted as blue force and a total of eight performed the red air role. 

Hellenic Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon powers away in full afterburner during departure at TLP 21-4. Ejército del Aire

To provide some reality to the flying course, an anti-aircraft threat came from the Spanish Army using authentic combat systems, such as short-range air defence (SHORAD) missile systems like the National/Norwegian Advanced Surface to Air Missile (NASAM) and Mistral Systems. Germany also provided anti-aircraft surface-to-air threats in the simulated battle area.

Rotary winged aircraft also participated in the flying course. Armada Española (Spanish Navy) SH-60F Seahawks and Ejército del Aire (Spanish Air Force) NH-90 TTH were involved in certain mission sets with their special ops EZAPAC extraction equipment.