Gioia del Colle Air Base will host 80 aircraft from 13 countries which will perform Large Force Employment training events from October 2 to 13.
One of the largest European exercises, the NATO Tiger Meet, is returning to Italy for its 2023 edition, which is slated to run from October 2 to 13, 2023, at Gioia del Colle Air Base. Out of 59 total editions, this is the fourth time the exercise is hosted by the Italian Air Force, with the last being NTM 1988, 35 years ago. Another edition was held in Italy in 1980 and the first one, 50 years ago, in 1973. The return also coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Italian Air Force.
The participants are already arriving at the Apulian air base, in the south of Italy, to begin familiarizing with the local airspace and procedures ahead of the start of the exercise. Around 70 fixed-wing and 10 rotary-wing aircraft from 13 nations are taking part to the exercise together with the home unit, the 36° Stormo Caccia (Fighter Wing). Other Italian Air Force units and Italian Navy assets are also involved.
With operations that will involve the airspace of Puglia, Calabria and Basilicata, the exercise will be useful to perfect the interoperability of assets in Large Force Employment (LFE) scenarios involving air defence and air interdiction missions, support to troops on the ground (Close Air Support, CAS) or search and recovery of personnel in a hostile environment (Personnel Recovery – PR).
Two Italian units are part of the NATO Tiger Association: the 21° Gruppo (Squadron) of the 9° Stormo, based at Grazzanise, which flies HH-101 Caesar and HH-212 helicopters; and the 12° Gruppo Caccia (Fighter Squadron) of the 36° Stormo, based at Gioia, which flies the Eurofighter Typhoon (F-2000 in accordance to Italy’s MOD Mission Design Series).
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