Six NATO members' fighter squadrons are conducting this year's NATO Tiger Meet, hosted by the Portuguese Air Force 301 "Jaguares" squadron at Beja Air Base. They are joined by a Swiss Air Force detachment of four F/A-18 Hornets from Fliegerstaffel 11. The jets deployed to Portugal from their Swiss home base at Meiringen.
The cooperation and exchange with our NATO Partners at squadron-level really enhances our flying skills
Established in 1952, Fliegerstaffel 11 has been a member of the NATO Tiger Association since 1981. For sixty years, the NATO Tigers have conducted their Meets bringing together Air Force squadrons featuring a predator such as a tiger in their unit crest.
"For Staffel 11 the NATO Tiger Meet is a huge opportunity allowing us to hone our know-how tremendously," said Major Andrin Witschi, commander of the Swiss NATO Tiger detachment at Beja.
"During these two weeks we have the great chance to fly Joint All Domain Operation sorties day and night; flying in Electronic Warfare, Space and Cyber scenarios present my pilots with additional challenges," Major Witschi said. "We do not have this training environment at home in Switzerland and the cooperation and exchange with our NATO Partners at squadron-level really enhances our flying skills," he added.
The NATO Tiger Meets allow participants to fly combined joint missions often within the framework of so-called Large Force Employment and Composite Air Operations. Participants practice common Tactics, Techniques and Procedures creating a common understanding for possible real-world missions.
"The NATO Tiger Meet is not only a major benchmark for us, but also a welcome occasion for us to exchange our experiences with Partner pilots and to live and promote the Tiger Spirit," concluded Major Witschi.