For the first time in history a Dutch Tigersquadron hosted the annual Nato Tiger Meet. Off course we are talking about 313 Squadron based on Volkel Air Base. Formed at Volkel in 1952 flying with the T33 T-Bird 313 Squadron was inactivated in 1959 to be activated as a NF5 Freedom Fighter Squadron based at Twenthe Air Base in 1972. Due to closure of our beloved Twenthe (still considered a crime against humanity by many people) 313 Squadron was once again forced to pack their suitcases and move to Volkel (again). In october 1990 313 squadron adopted a Tigerhead as their badge due tot the fact that they switched from a trainingrole to an offensive/defensive role. For the first time 313 Squadron is hosting the Nato Tiger Meet as a Full NTA member. The meet lasted two full weeks from 04/10/2010 till 15/10/2010 in which 715 missions where planned (and 644 missions where actually flown). 313 learned a lot off our southern neighbours from Kleine Brogel who hosted the NTM 2009 last year. Unfortunately the economic crisis played a big roll this year with 4 squadrons not attending. Also 3 other squadrons couldn't make it but that was due to operational reasons. Nevertheless more than 50 aircraft where participating including F16's from Norway, Belgium, Turkey and the Netherlands, Tornado's from Germany (AG 51 and JBG32), French Mirage 2000's, JAS-39 Gripens from the Czech and Hungarian Air Force, Austrian Saab 105's, a Czech Hind and two Italian AB212's. The excercise was supported by a E3 Awacs operating from it's homebase Geilenkirchen and a Ohio ANG KC135 which flew from Eindhoven. Also observers from 335 Mira where on base. They are currently transitioning from the legendary A7 Corsair to the far more capable F16C Block-52+ Fighting Falcon at their homebase Araxos (on the beautiful Pelaponesus peninsula). Also some observers from the Polish Air Force where detached. They where from the 6.Elt from Lotnica Air Base. They also fly the F16C Block-52-CF. Both units are scheduled to take part in next year's edition of the NTM. Again several trophies could be won and here are the results: Silver Tiger Tropy: 211th Squadron (JAS-39 Czech AF), Best Flying Unit: 338 Squadron (F16A Norwegian AF), Tiger Games Winner: 221 Squadron (Mi-24 Czech AF), Best Skit: Jet Trainer Squadron (Saab-105 Austrian AF), Best Looking Uniform: 21 Grupo (AB212 Italian AF), and the last trophy went to 192 Filo (F16C Turkish AF) because they had the most fancy paintscheme according to the judges.

The local spottersassociation SGV (Spotting Group Volkel) and the PRO organised a spottersday on the 7th of october which I attended. The weather was to say the least awfull. Foggy and thus no suneshine what so ever made every picture look the same. The weather was the only minus because this day was perfectly organised ! A big thank you to SGV and all the people of 313 and/or Volkel A.B.

Next year's edition of the Nato Tiger Meet will be hosted by EC 01.012 based at Cambrai Air Base in Northern-France.

See ya there..

 

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