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May 13 2022

Swiss F/A-18 jets train with NATO Tigers to be ready for real-world missions

RAMSTEIN, Germany – From May, 9 – 13, NATO Partner Switzerland participated with five F/A-18 fighter aircraft in the NATO Tiger Meet 2022 in Greece to benefit from common tactics, techniques and procedures and large force employment drills.

The annual NATO Tiger Meets bring together squadrons with a predator in their unit crest for a demanding live-fly exercise programme. Five Swiss F/A-18 fighters deployed to Araxos Air Base, Greece to participate in the training drills with eleven other NATO Allied squadrons.

Our pilots can experience an international high-value training event with in-person flight planning and large force employment

"For the first time, Swiss fighter aircraft will be flying in an exercise in Greece," said Major Andrin Witschi, commanding officer of Fliegerstaffel 11. "This live-fly exercise is ideal for us, because our pilots can experience an international high-value training event with in-person flight planning and large force employment – we don't have that at home," he added.

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Swiss fighter pilots on the way to their F/A-18 fighter aircraft in the NATO Tiger Meet 2022 in Greece  Photo: Courtesy of Swiss Armed Forces
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Swiss F/A-18 fighter aircraft under the Greek sun during the NATO Tiger Meet 2022 at Araxos Air Base, Greece. Photo: Courtesy of Swiss Armed Forces

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Swiss F/A-18 fighter aircraft at Araxos Air Base, Greece. Photo: Courtesy of Swiss Armed Forces

The fact that Switzerland is a NATO Partner and not a member does not matter in this Tiger context. "We have common tactics, techniques and procedures for aircraft missions; our pilots are gathering invaluable experiences in an exceptional mix of training missions in areas above the sea and over mainland Greece," added Witschi underlining the importance of personal contacts and friendships across the Tiger squadrons from all participating nations.

"This year, unfortunately, we can only fly with our colleagues for one week," said the Swiss major, "because we are scheduled to be on standby to protect the Davos World Economic Forum. Our F/A-18s will fly surveillance missions there protecting the meeting from the air, and our pilots will be able to apply in practice the lessons learned during the NATO Tiger Meet 2022 in Araxos, Greece," he added.

Established in 1952, Swiss Fliegerstaffel 11 based at Meiringen Air Base, Switzerland has been a member of the NATO Tiger Association since 1981.

Switzerland is a longstanding, valued partner for NATO. Switzerland's participation in NATO Tiger Meet 2002 demonstrates close NATO Ally-Partner interoperability

Story by Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office in cooperation with Swiss Armed Forces Public Affairs Office

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