ALBACETE, Spain - From January 22 to February 9, 2024, the Swiss Air Force is taking part with four of their F/A-18 fighter jets at the multinational Tactical Leadership Programme’s (TLP) Flying Course 24-1 in Albacete, Spain. .
We are here to hone our defence capability through international cooperation in the multinational TLP course for complex missions
“The aim of the multinational air operations exercise is to strengthen the defense capability of the Swiss Air Force through international cooperation,” said Major Adrian "Guzzi" Guerrazzi, the F/A-18 detachment leader at Albacete.
A total of 36 members of the Swiss Army are conducting training flights demonstrating interoperability with six NATO member nations who brought more than 30 combat aircraft, various ground-based systems and more than 650 military members to the multinational training facility some 230 km southeast of Madrid.
One of four Swiss F/A-18 fighter jets that participated in the TLP's first flying course in 2024.
Photo courtesy TLP.
More than 30 combat aircraft deployed to Albacete Air Base, Spain, to plan, coordinate and execute combined air operations. Photo courtesy TLP .
After several years, NATO Partner Switzerland participated again in the multinational flying course with F/A-18s and personnel. Photo courtesy TLP.
“We are here to hone our defence capability through international cooperation,” said Major Guerrazzi. “In the multinational TLP course, pilots are trained in complex missions for the challenges of the future. The course includes 12 missions, three of which are carried out in a synthetic environment. Flying missions include a wide range of scenarios that a modern fighter jet pilot has to deal with,” he added.
“The planning of these complex missions with a stringent timeline is closely monitored by the experienced TLP Staff,” explained Major Guerazzi. “This provides a unique high-pressure learning environment for the participants. The execution is closely observed and valuable learning objectives are evaluated during the debriefing,” he concluded
Due to geographical and demographic circumstances as well as the resources available in Switzerland, the Air Force cannot train all relevant scenarios domestically. It is therefore particularly dependent on training opportunities with partner nations. “These enable members of the army to apply and deepen existing knowledge in a new environment and gain important insights for future capability development,” added Major Guerrazzi.
Switzerland's participation is part of the international Partnership for Peace (PfP) cooperation programme. NATO established the PfP programme in 1994 to enable practical bilateral cooperation with individual Euro-Atlantic partner countries. It allows partners to build up an individual relationship with NATO, choosing their own priorities for cooperation, in which Nations can decide on how close they cooperate with NATO and its members. Switzerland joined the PfP progamme by signing their Framework Document in December 1996.