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TLP 2009/03  Florennes AB,  27 May 2009

I didn't visit the spottersday at Florennes AB held one week prior our visit. But as this is the last Tactical Leadership Program which was held at the Belgian airbase Florennes I really didn't want to miss this one.

 

Around half past eleven Mike, Niels and I arrived at the spotters corner at Florennes AB. The weather was just like it was forecasted, pretty cloudy, which made it sometimes very hard to take good shots. An hour after our arrival the first TLP participants took off for their mission. Again this TLP had some very nice highlights on the participants list. Especially the Spanish EF2000s, the Hellenic F-16s and of course the Polish F-16s were my personal highlights.

 

When all aircraft were back on the ground we left Florennes AB, but not after a last glimpse on the TLP flightline. From here we drove further down south to catch a hotel near Nancy. On our way to Nancy we quickly made a stop at BA128 Metz-Frescaty. Unfortunately we only saw two preserved aircraft here.

 

In 1998 I visited Florennes AB for the first time. Also in this year I saw one of my highlights so far, an Indonesian F-5E Tiger. Since that year I visited the TLP at Florennes AB seventeen times both on base and along the fence. This resulted in some very nice highlights but also some very disappointing moments as the TLP mission was cancelled lots of times during my visits. My best visit to the TLP at Florennes AB was the second TLP of the year 2007 when I went on base together with Maurice Hendriks. We had a great spot along the runway to take shots of the departing aircraft. Despite the bad weather, this TLP was also a good one for me. During this visit I noted no less then 21 new aircraft! Leaves me just one more thing, a very big thank you to the TLP, Florennes and its participants for some very nice years. I'll really miss it!

 

 

History of Tactical Leadership Program

 

When the Tactical Leadership Program (TLP) started multi-national flying operations in 1979 at Jever in Germany, no one could have imagined how military aviation in Central Europe would change over the next two decades. The TLP always reflected the political and military changes from scenarios of the "Cold War" to "hot" conflicts within a globalised world. While at the beginning the TLP mainly consisted of aircrew drawn from the former Second and Fourth Allied Tactical Air Forces in Central and Western Europe, the withdrawal of Canadian Forces from Germany by 1993 slowly lead to a growing participation of South European NATO Air Forces.

With the TLP moving from Jever to a more central position at Florennes, Belgium, in 1989 and the continuing decrease of air forces in Europe, the Belgian host base became more and more attractive for aircraft enthusiasts from Belgium, Netherlands, France, Germany and even from the UK. Today, the TLP not only features the only large-scale multi-national air exercise taking place regularly from one single airbase in Central Europe, but also provides one of the few remaining chances for European aircraft enthusiasts to experience activities of a wide range of military aircraft during a day-trip. With these pages we would like to provide valuable information for all plane spotters, photographers and enthusiasts interested in better understanding activities of the Tactical Leadership Program and experiencing "successful" days at Florennes.

However, this exercise will move again, this time to Spain. From July 2009, the exercise will be be hosted at Albacete-Los Llanos. In the previous years, the focus of the exercise has shifted and performing these exercises during night-time in large airspaces has becoming more important while being almost impossible at Florennes due to night-time restrictions and airspace restrictions, next to improved weather conditions throughout the year at Albacete.

source: scramble.nl

 

 

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