Another two TLP graduates for 31 Sqn!
On Sunday March 3rd, during the morning, the advance party set off to Albacete, Spain, for the Belgian Air Force’s 2nd TLP participation of the year including 2 of our own Tiger pilots. The Tactical Leadership Programme is a NATO course where large Air Operations are planned and flown. The goal of the course is to integrate different aircraft types, specialties and nationalities in one big operation called a COMAO (Combined Air Operation). This particular edition of the TLP course comprised participants from 7 countries and more than 11 aircraft types with their respective specialties. The course kicked off with 2 days of academics and the lessons were put into practice as from the third day.
On the first flying day, the TLP staff got the engine rolling and set the pace with the Fam(iliaristaion) -ride. This flight is an introduction with a low level of tactics and is a necessity in the complex Spanish airspace. The most important airway in Spain, going from Barcelona down south, cuts straight through the TLP training area.
The next day, the fight was on, with one of our own Tigers appointed Mission Commander for the first tactical mission. It was an Air Interdiction mission designed to cut off enemy supply lines. It was a busy day, with 6hrs of planning, 2hrs of flying and 4hrs of debriefing and it set the standard for the coming 3 weeks. A few days later the level of difficulty consistently started to increase and a large variety of missions were planned and flown by the different participants. Among these missions was the CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue) mission. They generally save it for last due to the high complexity of this mission whose objective is saving a downed pilot above enemy territory. The honor of playing the unlucky pilot on the ground was given to our own 31Sqn GLO!
After 3 intensive weeks our two new TLP graduates returned back home and had gathered a lot of experience, lessons learned and tons of new contacts in the NATO flying community.
Well done guys!