LEADERS OF THE PACK

Combat Aircraft headed to ‘TLP 2018-3’, which ran from September 10 to 5 October 5, and attracted some 40 aircraft from six NATO nations.

Tomorrow’s leaders — Belgian F-16AM pilots ready to head out for a ‘TLP’ sortie.

TACTICAL LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME (TLP) 2018-3’ was only the second of the year, ‘2018-2’ having been canceled due to the busy NATO exercise agenda including ‘Frisian Flag’ in the Netherlands, but it was business as usual with around 40 participating aircraft and helicopters. More than 50 aircrews flew each complex daily mission as a huge combined air operation (COMAO) from the sun-drenched Albacete air base in Spain. It was wall-to-wall fighters with six Belgian F-16AMs, two French Mirage 2000Ds, two Rafale Bs and five Cs, plus two Alpha Jet Es, three Greek Mirage 2000EGs and one BG, pairs of Italian Tornado ECRs and AMXs, five Polish F-16Cs and six Spanish EF2000s. It didn’t end there, with a recently upgraded French E-3F, two Aeronautica Militare (AM) HH-139s and an E-550A conformal airborne early warning and control (CAEW) aircraft.

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