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Sep 13 2021

NATO TIGERS CELEBRATE THEIR 60TH ANNIVERSARY

Ramstein, Germany – Squadrons and members from Allied and Partner Nations came together September 10 to 13 in Kleine Brogel Air Base, Belgium, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the NATO Tiger Association.  

Tiger Squadrons from across the Alliance including Belgium, Italy, Greece, UK, Portugal, France, Czech, Germany and Poland, alongside partners from Austria attended the special event. The participants focused around celebrating 60 years of this special club that brings together air forces with shared values and strengthens international bonds among pilots and squadron personnel.In a truly multinational environment it gives us an excellent opportunity to maintain a high quality of operational training and support an unbreakable brotherhood between the different squadron personnel.

In a truly multinational environment it gives us an excellent opportunity to maintain a high quality of operational training and support an unbreakable brotherhood between the different squadrons

"Over the last 60 years the NATO Tiger Community has allowed Allied and Partner Air Forces to come together and share their experience and common values in a unique setting," said Major General Karsten Stoye, Chief of Staff, Allied Air Command, and longtime NATO Tiger member. "In a truly multinational environment it gives us an excellent opportunity to maintain a high quality of operational training and support an unbreakable brotherhood between the different squadrons," he added.

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French Rafale fighters join other Allied and Partner squadrons at the NATO Tiger Anniversary. Photo by Ross Impress. 
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Czech MI-24 Hinds and MI-17 Hips sporting their stripes and working alongside other Allied helicopters. Photo courtesy of Sanicole Airshow.
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Polish Air Force F-16 Tiger demo team ready for the 60th Anniversary celebration. Photo courtesy of Sanicole Airshow. 

Besides the priorities for realistic and operational training the added benefits of the NATO Tiger Meets are the famous traditions that help to create a special atmosphere which is known as "Tiger Spirit". It is not only the colourful surrounding with tiger striped flight suits, scarves, boots, flight helmets and aircraft, but the personal relations and the friendship between individuals, squadrons and nations that play a significant role.

The NATO Tiger Meet is a yearly tactical-level live-fly event that has existed since 1961. The overarching framework is provided by the NATO Tiger Association and the individual meets are organised by the hosting squadron – this anniversary event is hosted by the 31 Smaldeel Belgian Air Force Fighter Squadron at Kleine Brogel. Whilst not related to any NATO headquarters, the NATO Tiger Meet provides unique squadron-level training and enhances professionalism and good airmanship across NATO's air forces.

To all NATO Tigers past and present, "Tiger Tiger Tiger".

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

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