Exercise reports
Brief history (NATO) Tiger Meet

This year the Nato Tiger Meet celebrates her 40th Tiger Meet. Host is Recce Wing 51 "Immelmann" at Schleswig-Jagel Air Base in the northern part of Germany (near the German/Danish border). This is the 51st Recce Wing's first ever Tiger Meet, and the first NTM in 20 years to be held in northern Germany.

By Frits Jongerman

In July 1961 the first Tiger Meet was held at RAF Woodbridge . It came that the French Defence Minister M. Pierre Messner wished in 1960 to strengthen the ties between the French and the American Armed Forces. So the first Tiger Meet took place in 1961 with an invitation by the Americans of the 79 TFS and the British of the 74 (F) Sqn to the French SPA 162 of EC 1/12. The squadrons performed missions of interception and solo demos together. At the end they had a fly by of the three squadrons together with their F-100 Super Sabre (79 TFS), Lightning F.1 (74 Sqn) and Super Mysteres (EC 1/12). Due to the success of this meeting it was easy to gather eight squadrons in Woodbridge, together with the already present aircraft from Belgium, Germany and Canada. The first Tiger Meet was only one day. Nowadays it's one week.

The goals of the tiger meet were/are:
1. Promote solidarity between NATO members
2. Create and maintain strong professional and personal ties between participating crews and
3. Work together for NATO's military goals.

For an aircraft enthusiastic the Tiger Meets is extra special to visit because the aircraft are traditionally painted in special tiger colours during this meetings. Every Tiger Meet will bring very nice painted aircraft, but also cars and other things (just name it and you can paint it with tiger colours).

A lot has changed since 1961; from the cold war to the war against terrorism. Since the last couple of years former eastern bloc countries participate. After a European Tiger Meet there is also and Tiger Meet in the USA/Canada. Of course, most of the American/Canadian units are also member of the (European) Tiger Meet; like 439 Sqn and 79 FS. 79 FS is one of the first members of the originally Tiger Meet, held at Woodbridge in 1961.

Tiger Members

Sqn Air Force Type
1 Sqn 'Sliac'Slovak AFMiG-29 Fulcrum
VP-8United States NavyP-3C Orion
11 FFrench NavySuper Etendard
Flst. 11Swiss Air ForceFA-18C/D Hornet
31 Smaldeel (10 Wg)Belgian Air ForceF-16AM/BM
37 BSAir Combat CommandB-1B ('EL')
41st Fighter SqnCzech Air ForceMiG-21
79th Fighter SqnAir Combat CommandF-16CJ/DJ ('SW')
EC 01.012French Air ForceMirage 2000B/C
120th Fighter SqnColorade ANGF-16C
141 ARSNew Jersey ANGKC-135E
Esc. 142 (Ala 14)Spanish Air ForceMirage F.1M
155 Gr (50 Stormo)Italian Air ForceTornado ECR
192 Filo/9 AJUTurkish Air ForceF-16C/D
230 SqnRoyal Air ForcePuma HC.1
231 Heli Sqn*Czech Air ForceMil Mi-24 Hind
301 EsqPortuguese Air ForceAlpha Jet
313 SqnRoyal Netherlands AFF-16AM/BM
321 Staffel/JBG-32German Air ForceTornado ECR
338 Skv.Royal Norwegian AFF-16AM/BM
391st FSAir Combat CommandF-15E ('MO')
393rd BSqAir Combat CommandB-2 ( 'WM')
439 SqnRoyal Canadian Air ForceCT-133/CH-146
494 FSUnited States AF EuropeF-15E ('LN')
No. 814 NASRoyal NavyMerlin
EC 05.330French Air ForceMirage 2000-5F
AG 51 (512 Sqn)German Air ForceTornado IDS

(* former 331 Sqn; Operates since January 1st 2004 as 231 Helicopter Squadron)

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