Tactical Leadership Program (TLP) completed its 4th flight course (FC 2022-4) with around 40 aircraft and helicopters for combat and transport, combat search and rescue (CSAR), NATO early warning aircraft and ground air defense systems (SBAD).
The Tactical Leadership Program (TLP)FC 2022-4 flight course started 14th November till 2nd December, with a duration of 3 weeks, with flights from Monday to Friday (only afternoon) from 21st November (first week was dedicated to academic activity and simulator flights).
The Tactical Leadership Program offers complex and realistic training programs: a combination of on-site and simulator training for the entire spectrum, from planning to negotiation.
“Accomplishing our 2022 training schedule, the TLP hosted fighter jets from Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, to conduct multinational Combined Air Operations (COMAOs) including simulator and live-fly sorties” said Colonel Alberto Martinez (Spanish Air Force) Commandant of the TLP.
With CSAR missions, real and simulated threats from ground air defense systems provides NATO pilots with a complex environment to prepare, plan, fly and report on missions in preparation for Allied for future operations.
“The TLP flight course is based on COMAO, which requires a lot of experience and coordination.” said Col. Martinez.
This time, almost 30 “friendly” fighters (German Eurofighters and Tornados, Belgian F-16s, French Rafales and Mirage 2000D and Italian Eurofighters) faced nine aggressor/enemy aircraft, who made up the opposing forces, made up of the following assets: F-16 (Belgium AF), EC-18M (Spanish AF), Rafale M (France Marine) and JAS-39 Gripen (Czech Republic AF).
Tactical airlift provided by Spanish C-295s and Italian C-27J Spartan and CSAR capabilities provided by Italian Air Force HH-101 helicopters supported the mission, while various German SBAD systems and Learjets LJ-35 Jamkite, electronic warfare aircraft, made life difficult for the fighter.
With Tactical Leadership Program, deployed crews must go through a complex realistic training program ranging from live training flight to flight simulator, from planning to de-briefing. All in a multinational environment and in accordance with NATO agreed standards.
For support the complex Tactical Leadership Program, a NATO Boeing E-3A Sentry AWACS aircraft (Airborne Warning and Control System) from Geilenkirchen (Germany), was also deployed at Albacete.
The Boeing E-3A took off regularly to provide airborne support during missions, with airspace surveillance and early detection of airborne threats, control of mission, fighter control, coordination SAR operation, airspace control and coordination and control of SBAD systems.
“Flying and aiding during a TLP Flying Course is a win-win for both sides, our crew has invaluable training in virtually all the roles NATO E-3A plays for the Alliance and the course participants get accustomed to what capability we can bring to the fight. Moreover, deploying to Albacete underlines our flexibility and resilience and helps the crew to come together with their fighter colleagues from the Allied air forces” said Major General Thomas Kunkel (U.S. Air Force) – NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force Commander in Geilenkirchen (Germany).
From TLP facilities MACE flight simulator was used, which allows pilots to be trained not only in the virtual environment, but also to interact with aircraft in real missions through communication protocols.
Modern Air Combat Environment – MACE is a Battlespace Simulations Inc. product, is a holistic computer-generated/semi-automated forces (CGF/SAF) application used throughout the world for accredited Joint Fires training systems, electronic warfare training, and threat/entity generation.
Finally, this 4th course of TLP was attended by two frigates of the Spanish Navy.
From Albacete (Spain): Ramon Martin
Photos: Ramon Martin