Ocean Tiger

The 2008 NATO Tiger Meet – Landivisiau, France



Many visitors to last years NATO Tiger Meet at MAS Ørland in Norway agreed it was going to be a hard event to beat, however with less than nine months to plan it fell to 11 Flotille at Landivisiau to host the 2008 event – Ocean Tiger. 

The 2008 event was originally scheduled to be held at Lechfeld Airbase in Germany; however due to operational commitments of the hosting Tornado unit the event had to be hastily re-scheduled. In their operational role, 11F operate from the 38,000 ton nuclear aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. However, with the carrier in dry dock for a 15 month overhaul, re-fit and fuelling of the nuclear powerplant, this presented the rare opportunity for a Tiger Meet to be hosted at Landivisau, in north western Brittany.

A 'Spotters Day' was organised by 11F to accommodate the huge interest in the event, this taking place on Friday 27th June.  An off airfield parking and booking-in area had been established, with a coach service provided to shuttle around 500 visitors to an area near the airfield’s main apron. This system was very well managed and delays were minimal.

The Ocean Tiger participants presented a number of attractive paint schemes this year: the host unit painted a pair of Super Étendard Modernisé in a very eye-catching red & black tiger scheme; EC 05.330 brought a stunningly painted Rafale – the scheme comprised an overall yellow and black tiger scheme with large eye painted on the tail.  From Switzerland came 11 Staffel, with their amazingly decorated F/A-18; this scheme deservedly won the Silver Tiger Trophy at the event’s awards ceremony.



One unexpectedly attractive participant was the veteran Nord 262E of 28F, which turned heads in its Arctic Tiger black & white tiger scheme.

The Spanish air force was represented by two units, Ala 15 from Zaragoza with their EF-18A & B Hornets, with yellow and black striped tanks and 142 Esc, the 2006 hosts from Albacete. One of the 142 Esc Mirage F-1Ms was marked with very colourful tail artwork depicting a tiger attacking a hapless shark. Participating for the first time at the NATO Tiger Meet was 211 Sqn, based at Caslav in the Czech Republic, with the airforce’s newly delivered Saab JAS-39 Gripen.



Photographic opportunities were numerous along the main apron, with an area also provided alongside the taxiway, which was also opposite the rotation point of most aircraft; however the long grass between the taxiway and runway did present a problem by obscuring the aircraft on the runway during their take off runs. This minor point did not spoil the day and the organisers are to be congratulated for arranging such a relaxed, yet well planned event.

Next year's NATO Tiger Meet is scheduled to take place at Kleine Brogel in Belgium, with a Spotters Day planned for 18th September.



Tiger Meet Participants

Squadron

Aircraft Type

31 Sm

F-16AM/BM

11 Staffel

F/A-18C/D Hornet

11F

Super Étendard Modernisé

EC01.012

Mirage 2000C/B

EC05.330

Rafale C/B

814 NAS

Merlin HM.1

230 Sqn

Puma HC.1

321 Sqn

Mi-24V Hind

142 Esc

Mirage F.1

Ala 15

EF-18A/B+ Hornet

AG 51

Tornado IDS

JTS

Saab 105

211 Sqn

JAS-39C/D Gripen

335 Mira

Observers only

21 Gruppo

AB-212ICO *

1 Sqn NAEWF

E-3A Sentry **

313 Sqn

F-16AM ***

338 Sqn

F-16AM ***

JBG 321

Tornado ECR ****

* No Ocean Tiger missions flown
** Flying From Geilenkirchen
*** Weekend only
**** Flying local missions on Friday only



The 2008 NATO Tiger Meet award winners:


Silver Tiger Trophy

Fliegerstaffel 11 Switzerland

Best Flying Unit

31 Smaldeel Belgium

Tiger Games Winner

31 Smaldeel Belgium

Best Skit

Flotille 11F France

Best Looking Uniform

Escadron de Chasse 01.012 France

Most Attractive Paint Scheme

Escadron de Chasse 05.330 France


 

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© On Target Aviation 2008