Tactical Weapon Meet 2017
From June 5 till June 16th, the Florennes Air Base in Belgium (EBFS) was the scene of the Tactical Weapon Meet 2017. This was the largest military jet exercise held at the Florennes Air Base since the last TLP in 2009.
Besides Belgian F-16 fighter jets, also fighter aircraft from Poland, Greece, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom participated in this large exercise. During the Tactical Weapon Meet 2017, the international participants shared their experiences, tactics and procedures with each other. Therefore this was a very good training exercise for young pilots. For them, the Tactical Weapon Meet 2017 was an excellent opportunity to qualify as 2-ship leader which is a leader of a patrol of two aircraft. This exercise also took place in the year that the 1st Squadron "Stingers" of the Belgian Air Force celebrated its 100th anniversary. Because The Hellenic Air Force send two McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II fighter jets from the 117 Combat Wing at Andravida Air Base this attracted a lot of attention with aviation photographers and aviation spotters. These iconic aircraft are becoming increasingly rare in Europe and have not been seen in Belgium for a long time. Other participants in this exercise were Mikoyan MiG-29 'Fulcrum' fighter jets of the Polish Air Force (1st Tactical SQN, Minsk), Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets from the Italian Air Force (4º Stormo, Grosseto) and the Spanish Air Force (111 SQN, Moron) and BAE Systems Hawk trainer aircraft from the Royal Air Force (100 SQN, Leeming).
On June 15th, the 1st Squadron "Stingers" of the Belgian Air Force organized a special spottersday at their home base for several hundred aviation enthousiasts and photographers. During this well-organized spottersday some special guests came to the Florennes Air Base such as two French Mirage 2000's, a Belgian Alpha Jet trainer jet, a Belgian A-109 Agusta helicopter, some special painted F-16's from the Kleine Brogel Air Base in Belgium andGreek and Polish C-130 transport aircraft. Because of the many low approaches and formation breaks of the participants of the Tactical Weapon Meet 2017 and the special guests this spottersday was more like an airshow than a military exercise.
Text & photos: Kris Christiaens