We’ve got been to Gioia del Colle for NATO Tiger Meet 2023.
The NATO Tiger Meet 2023 is underway at Gioia del Colle Air Base, alternating high-level tactical coaching missions with varied conventional social occasions. On Oct. 6, 2023, the 36° Stormo (Wing) hosted a Spotters Day which was attended by greater than 800 individuals, confirming the Tiger Meet as one of the well-known and liked multinational workout routines in Europe, not less than among the many aviation lovers’ neighborhood.
As occurred throughout earlier editions, the train included additionally an Open Day and a Media Day. We’ve got the possibility to go to Gioia del Colle throughout a standard day of operations in addition to throughout the Spotters Day, which featured the mass launch and restoration for a COMAO mission over the Ionian Sea and an Elephant Stroll with all of the belongings participating to NTM 2023.
On Oct. 4, we additionally had an opportunity to fly aboard an Italian Air Power HH101A Caesar a part of a 2-ship formation concerned in a simulated particular operation mission.
For sure, one of many highlights of the train was the presence of many Special Color aircraft. The truth is, as defined up to now, the principle distinction between NTM and plenty of different “conventional” workout routines is that many plane participating within the drills, not less than one (however normally a couple of) per taking part unit, sport Tiger markings, Particular Tails or flamboyant tiger-themed paint schemes.
As we talked about in a previous story, Tiger Meet returned to Italy for the primary time after 35 years, with round 70 fixed-wing and 10 rotary-wing plane from 13 nations are participating to the train along with the house unit, the 36° Stormo. Every nation deployed a Particular Tail or a Particular Colour plane to the train, apart from Turkey that despatched two Particular Colour plane.
After all of the spotters have been transported by bus to the designated space close to the principle runway, the flight operations began couple of minutes after 10 AM.
As normally occurs throughout advanced COMAO (Composite Air Operations) missions, help plane are the primary to launch, with an Italian G550 CAEW (Conformal Airborne Early Warning) plane from Pratica di Mare taking place over the Apulian skies whereas a French E-2C Hawkeye took off from Gioia del Colle. A GFD Learjet additionally took off to take place over Calabria.
With one of many Tiger Meet’s targets being maximizing integration and interoperability with NATO members, it was fascinating to see combined formations launching for the coaching missions, corresponding to a two-ship flight with an Italian and a German Eurofighter 2000. One other instance was a four-ship with two Belgian and two Polish F-16s that launched individually however returned collectively on the finish of the coaching mission.
In fast succession, nearly all of the plane deployed for the train have been launched for the COMAO mission, a typical script for NTM. About an hour later, the primary plane appeared on the horizon heading for the overhead break earlier than touchdown. One after one other, all of the plane returned to the bottom to organize for the subsequent occasion whereas the CAEW returned to its base. Apparently, after the return of the principle wave, an Elephant Walk with 41 plane occurred following a fast turnaround on the finish of their coaching mission.
One of many taking part items, French Air Power ECE 01-030 Côte d’Argent, has posted on their Fb web page, a sequence of pictures that includes all of the particular coloured plane on show throughout the Sunday’s Open Day. Check out the fascinating shut up photos.