Fighter Control Forum member Tony Osborne attended this years Nato Tiger meet for Artic Tigers 2007. This was the first time a Tiger Meet had been hosted in Norway. Despite the goings on in the worlds war zones involving Nato nations. Over one thousand personel from Twenty One squadrons represented by Twelve countries were able to attend.
The Exercise started on 23rd September and ended on 1st October. This year the exercise was based on a Humanitarian theme. Something many of the personel have had experience of and all too familiar for us in terms of media coverage.
Two countries with unstable governments and regimes with ethnic tensions and border disputes. Thus being a perfect scenario for joint training and utilising the full capabilites of all the aircraft in attendance. As always ever present at Nato Tiger Meets, there is a good mix of colourful aircraft in attendance, and alot of them had artwork of an artic influence. Here is Tony’s recollection of the event.
Enthusiasts packed their thermal undies and warm gloves for the most northerly Tiger Meet ever.
Master Air Station Ørland, was the venue for this year’s gathering of Tiger squadrons. Some 70 aircraft from 17 Squadrons across Europe packed into the giant airbase on a remote Norwegian peninsula less than 300 miles from the Arctic Circle.
The two-week deployment, hosted by 338 Squadron, Royal Norwegian Air Force allowed fast-jet crews and helicopter crews to train more closely using Norway’s vast flying training areas, both out to sea and its impressive rugged terrain. Travelling furthest was 192 Filo of the Turkish Air Force from Balikesir AB, while the French bought along the largest contingent, with four Mirage 2000Cs and a single 2000B from EC 01.012 ‘Cambresis’, three Rafales from EC 05.330 ‘Cote d’Argent’ and two spectacularly painted Super Etendard’s from 11F Flotille, Aeronavale. Belgium’s 31 Sqn bought eight F-16s while Spain bought eight aircraft including four F/A-18s from Ala 15 and four Mirage F1s from 142 Esc.
Most aircraft stayed the full two weeks for the exercise, but turned up for the weekend public event to show their solidarity and enthusiasm for the NATO Tigers Association which is now in its 48th year.
Taking this year’s Silver Tiger trophy was 31 ‘Tiger’ Squadron of the Belgian Armed Forces, while taking the prize for the best painted aircraft was 11 Staffel of the Swiss Air Force.
|Norway||338 Skv||F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcon||Best Flying Squadron Trophy|
|Switzerland||11 Staffel||F-18C/D Hornet||Best painted aircraft Trophy|
|United Kingdom||814 NAS||Merlin HM.1|
|United Kingdom||230 Sqn||Puma HC.1|
|Germany||1./JBG 32||Tornado ECR|
|Germany||2./AG 51||Tornado IDS||Tiger Spirit Award|
|Greece||335 MV||A-7E/TA-7C Corsair II|
|Belgium||31 Smaldeel||F-16AM Fighting Falcon||Silver Tiger Trophy & Best Flying Squadron Trophy|
|France||EC 01.012||Mirage 2000C||Best Tiger dress Trophy|
|France||EC 05.330||Rafale B|
|France||11 F||Super Etendard|
|Portugal||Esq 301||F-16AM Fighting Falcon|
|Czech Republic||231.vrl||Mi-24V ‘Hind-E’|
|Spain||151 Esc.||EF-18A+ Hornet||Best Tiger skit Trophy|
|Spain||142 Esc.||Mirage F-1M|
|NATO||NAEW N° 1 Sqn||E-3A Sentry||Winner of the Tiger games|
|Turkey||192 Filo||F-16C/D Fighting Falcon|