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TLP 2008-3, Florennes

The TLP consists of 6 courses per year organised by the "Flying Branch", with 1 out-of-area TLP, not at Florennes to exercise nightflying operations. In 1979 the TLP started at the German airbase of Jever. Followed by a move to Florennes (Belgium) in 1988.
In 2009/2010 the TLP will be moved to Los Llanos Airfield, Albacete in Spain.

The 3rd edition of the 2008 TLP (2008-3) is the first TLP with the 3 new european fighters on one base. The Czech Gripens, the Spanish Eurofighters and the French Rafales flew many missions together. Other participants were Mirage 2000N (France), F-16s from Turkey and Italy, EF-18's from Spain, F-4E's from Turkey and L159 ALCA the Czech airforce.

The first 2 weeks of the TLP consist of Flying Days and Academic Days ( non-flying days, with teachers from the "Academic Branch"; with the concepts conceived by the "Concepts and Doctrine Branch") . During these weeks the exercises will become more and more difficult. Air-to-Air Refuelling is added as an extra realistic feature in the exercise during the 2nd week. For each mission there will be (simulated) ground attack missions with fighter escort. During the 3rd and 4th week additional fighters arrive to play for realistic opposite forces. In these last weeks, some 30-40 aircraft take off for a normal TLP mission. In the last week, SAR helicopters will participate to add the CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue) element to the TLP. ECM missions will be flown by dedicated ECM aircraft, in this TLP 2008-3 it was a Spanish Dassault 20E.

On the F-16 close-up, you can see a Belgium F-16 with the new SNIPER Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) pod. 8 pods were bought from Lockheed Martin. The pods were delivered in Spring of 2008.

Thanks to Adj Peter de Wael of the Media Component of the Belgium Air Component. Background info from TLP website

All photo's:
G.J.A. van Boven
H.P.A.M van Eupen
© Sentry Aviation News

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