Cambrai (LFQI)On the French airbase of Cambrai (Base Aerienne 103, ICAO code: LFQI) in Northern France the annual NATO TigerMeet took place between May 09 and May 19 mei 2011.
Each year the European squadrons of the NATO (containing a Tiger or a cat in their crest/emblem) will have a special meeting, the TigerMeet. The TigerMeet has large social content, but it is also a genuine exercise with smaller missions in the morning and a large, multi-aircraft (~40-50) mission in the afternoon.
The NATO Tiger Association is the sponsor of the annual TigerMeet, which dates back to the 1960's. In these early days the TigerMeet was a 1 or 2 day meeting of just a few NATO Tiger squadrons, all with a Tiger as emblem/crest. Over the years, the number of participants grew and the TigerMeet duration grew to 1 or 2 weeks.
After recent Tigermeets at Landivisiau (2008,France), Kleine-Brogel (2009,Belgium) and Volkel (2010, Netherlands), was EC (Escadron de Chasse, squadron) 01/12 'Cambresis' the host of the TigerMeet 2011. Initially, the TigerMeet would be one of the largest TigerMeets ever, due to the 50 years anniversary. But due to the NATO Libya campaign, the Dutch, Belgium and Norwegian airforces withdrew. Only the special painted Belgian 31 squadron F-16 was present for a few days at Cambrai. But a newcomer at the TigerMeet was the Polish Air Force with their new F-16s.
The German Air Force had 3 special painted Tornados at Cambrai, 2 brand new 2011 Tiger paintings and 1 with the 'old' 2010 Tiger painting. The French Air Force sent 2 special painted Mirage 2000's and the Belgian Air Force sent the Kleine-Brogel F-16, with one 1 side 50 years TigerMeet and on the other side 60 years 31 squadron painted. The Turkish Air Force had the reused the 2010 paintings on their F-16s and the Czech Gripens made optimal use of the canard wings by painting these with Tiger eyes. The Polish and Portuguese F-16s were decorated with grey Tiger schemes. Spanish and Swiss F-18s reused their old Tiger paintings.
The Cambrai airbase will close down in 2012 but the Tiger squadron will keep on flying from another airbase in France, to keep up the Tiger traditions. In 2012 the TigerMeet will be held at Orland in Norway.
Country / Force Unit Aircraft Austria / AusAF 1JTS Saab 105OE Czech Republic / CzAF 211 Sqn JAS-39C Gripen Czech Republic / CzAF 221 Sqn Mi-24 Germany / GAF JaboG 321 Tornado ECR Germany / GAF AG 51 Tornado IDS Greece / HAF 335 Sqn F-16 Blk 52 France / FAF EC 05/330 Mirage 2000RDY France / FAF EC 01/012 Mirage 2000B/C Italy / ItAF 21° Gruppo AB212 Poland / PoAF 6 ELT F-16 Blk 52 Portugal / PAF 301 Sqn F-16 MLU Spain / SpAF 142 Escuadron Mirage F-1 (1 week only) Spain / SpAF ALA 15 EF/A-18 Switzerland / SwAF 11 Sqn F-18C/D UK/Royal Navy 814 Sqn Merlin HM. 1 Cancelled Norway / NoAF 338 Sqn F-16 MLU United Kingdom / RAF 230 Sqn Puma Belgium / BAF 31 Smd F-16 MLU (only 2 aircraft during the weekend) Netherlands / RNLAF 313 Sqn F-16 MLU Hungary / HuAF 59/1 Puma Sqn JAS-39C Gripen France / FAF EC 05/330 Rafale B/C France / FN 11Flottile SEM
Sentry home page.