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The Year 2018




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The Suisse Air Surveillance

The Suisse QRA, part 1; Meiringen, January 25 & 26, 2018

In peacetime, the Swiss Air Force is currently not on stand-by 24 hours a day due to a limited budget reasons. From 2020 on, however, this will be the case, because from that moment there will be two F/A-18 Hornets stand-by 24 hours a day. The extensive air surveillance network is already for years 24 hours a day online. The Swiss airspace control and anti-aircraft operations are been carried out by THALES Raytheon FLORAKO. This system is operated from locations on the Pilatus, Scopi, Weisshorn and Weissfluh mountains.

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Restrictions During the WEF

The Suisse QRA, part 2; Meiringen, January 25 & 26, 2018

During the WEF it is common in Switzerland that one airfield will host the increased operating activities in this period. The responsible airfield for these actions will rotate annually. During this year’s event Meiringen in Luzerne will fly the CAP missions. There are 24 hours a day fighters ready to respond to an alarm. The World Economic Forum (WEF) is an annual meeting of the CEOs of the largest companies in the world. The forum participants are politicians such as presidents, prime ministers and other politicians, intellectuals and journalists.

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CAP Operations During the WEF

The Suisse QRA, part 3; Meiringen, January 25 & 26, 2018

During the World Economic Forum two fighter planes from Meiringen are continuously in the air for a CAP mission. These aircraft usually consist of two F/A-18C Hornets which are all armed with live weapons like air to air missiles. Also in the darkness the F/A-18’s are used to fly these CAP missions until maximum 10 pm. The F/A-18s which fly CAP missions armed with live weapons under the wings. These weapons consist of two AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles at the intake suspension points and two AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles on the wingtips.

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International Exercise Frisian Flag

Frisian Flag and the EART 2018, part 1; Leeuwarden, April 9, 2018

At the Leeuwarden Air Base, the annual Frisian Flag 2018 exercise took place from April 9, until April 20, 2018. During two weeks, a mix of air to air and air to ground war scenarios were carried out by the participants of the exercise. The exercise took place in an international context of different NATO countries. The Dutch no 322 TACTESS (TACtical Training Evaluation and Standardization Squadron) will organise this year's exercise. The main task of this F-16 unit is to standardize the Dutch operational F-16 tactics and doctrines.

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The importance of the EART

Frisian Flag and the EART 2018, part 2; Eindhoven, April 12, 2018

When the European Air Transport Command was established in 2004, it could not be foreseen that a cooperation between countries of such a large size as now would arise. Also when it comes to air to air refueling, the European countries have joined forces by intensively training together during the annual EART. The EART is the most important training in Europe when it comes to practicing air to air refueling in a European joint venture. Standardization and harmony between the participants remains the main focus of the training.

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Air to Air Refuelling is Crucial

Frisian Flag and the EART 2018, part 3; Eindhoven, April 12, 2018

Due to the changing conditions in the world it is necessary to have a well-functioning and modern tanker fleet. The hotspots in the world are increasingly diverse and further away compared to the past, making a strategic tanker fleet an important factor for success. During the EART all aspects of refueling are trained. The EART was created to optimally use the existing fleet of tankers. In exercises such as Frisian Flag the emphasis is often on the fighter crews and not on that of the tankers. During the EART training this is excactly the other way around.

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The Future of the Tanker Fleet

Frisian Flag and the EART 2018, part 4; Eindhoven, April 12, 2018

The lessons which are learned during the EART have made politicians in Europe decide to join forces when it comes to air to air refueling with strategic tankers. With the help of the European Defense Agency, the study was started which led to the purchase of a joint European Airbus A330MRTT tanker fleet in the near future. In 2011 they started a project in the Netherlands where the idea arose to purchase a joint European tanker fleet. The idea of creating this joint European tanker fleet was developed by the EDA in the last seven years.

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Hosting the NATO Tiger Meet

The NATO Tiger Meet 2018, part 1; Poznań-Krzesiny, May 18, 2018

For years, the NATO Tiger Meet has been one of the largest international military exercises in Europe. This year the edition of the NATO Tiger Meet took place in Poland at the 31st tactical air base Poznań-Krzesiny in the middle of the country. The NATO Tiger Meet 2018 (NTM2018) took place between May 14 and May 25. During this large scale exercise with a high international reputation, a media day was organized on May, 18. Media were given the opportunity to experience up close the operations carried out by the Tiger squadrons.

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Objectives of the COMAO Missions

The NATO Tiger Meet 2018, part 2; Poznań-Krzesiny, May 18, 2018

The NATO Tiger Meet is one of the largest military exercises which takes place annually in Europe. Every year the European Tiger units send their aircraft to the Tiger Meet to train intensively together. During the Tiger Meet 2018 in Poland, various CAMAO war scenarios were flown which imitate contemporary reality of war. Also this year in Poland this year’s the Tiger Meet was held with the aim to promote European cooperation. The units which participated in the NATO Tiger Meet 2018 came to the exercise from all corners of Europe.

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313 Squadron Awarded with Silver Tiger

The NATO Tiger Meet 2018, part 3; Poznań-Krzesiny, May 18, 2018

Besides the intensive training, the NATO Tiger Meet also concerns the social aspects of the annual meeting. It is the intention that during the Tiger Meet the audience and the participating units come closer to each other. For this reason, a spotter day was organized on May 18, and the Poznan Airshow was held on May 19 and 20. During the Tiger Meet, the Tiger Games are traditionally held every year. The Tiger Games are a number of innocent games where the crews of all countries compete against each other to win ultimatly the Silver Tiger.

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The Polish 56 Baza Lotnicza

1 Aviation Brigade of the Army; Inowroclaw, May 19, 2018

The largest helicopter base of the Polish Army which is part of the 1.BLWL is 56 Baza Lotnicza (56.BLot) Inowroclaw. This air base of the Polish army is located about 10 kilometers northwest of the city of Inowroclaw in middle Poland. The base is equipped with utility and attack helicopters for offensive tasks. The Polish flying branch of the Army is referred to as the Lotnictwo Wojsk Ladowych (Army Aviation). The Polish Army has two brigades with different types of helicopters in active service. The helicopters have a supporting role in the Army.

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Lubuskie Muzeum Wojskowe

Visit to a Polish Aviation Museum; Drzonów, May 20, 2018

The Lubuskie Military Museum (Lubuskie Muzeum Wojskowe) is located in the town of Drzonów in the west of Poland, southwest of the city of Poznan. The museum originated from the Lubuska Land Museum in Zielona Gora in the same area. Since 1978 the museum has been restored and in 1985 it was officially opened to public. The museum contains an exhibition of old military aircraft and helicopters from the history of the Polish Air Force. The airplanes, helicopters and some armored vehicles are displayed outside on a fairly large area.

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