NTM21 Portugal F 16 Jorge Ruivo 640NATO Tiger Meet 2021

This year’s NATO Tiger Meet (NTM) is held at Beja air base (Portugal) from 2 to 14 May 2021. The training exercise had been postponed for one year due to Covid-19.

For the first time, the NTM will be carrying out night and over water missions, which will add a great challenge to the participants. These missions are divided in two types: Composite Air Operations (COMAO) and Shadow/Panther missions.
Where the COMAO missions are usually are large force air operations varying from defending the own territory to offensive operations like targeting sea & land based targets.

The Shadow (daytime missions) and Panther (night) missions are smaller scale missions. Examples of these missions are Close Air Support (CAS), Vehicle Interdiction and Hostage Rescue.

The Tiger Meet is one of the oldest and most famous air training exercises in Europe. The NATO Tiger Association or the Association of Tiger Squadrons was established in 1961, when the 79th Tactical Fighter Squadron (USAFE) took the initiative and invited 74 Squadron (RAF) and EC 1/12 (Armée de l’Air) to RAF Woodbridge (UK). France was then a full military member of NATO.

NTM21 Greece F 16 Columbia107 480NTM21 Poland F 16 William Jardim 480
The tradition with the participating tiger units is to give one or more aircraft attractive tiger colours. This definitely has the interest of aviation photographers.

NTM21 participants are:

Portugal, Esq301 Jaguares (Monte Real)
F-16AM: 15105 (special mks), 15109, 15114, 15116 (special mks) and 15143
F-16BM: 15119
Portugal, Esq751 Pumas (Montijo)
EH101 Mk516: 19610
Greece, 335 Mira Tigris (Araxos)
F-16C: 009, 015 and 019
F-16D: 021
Italy, 12° Gruppo (Gioia del Colle)
F-2000A: MM7308/36-31, MM7343/36-50, MM7347/36-53 and MM7349/36-54 (special mks)
F-2000T: MM55094/36-60
Italy, 21° Gruppo (Grazzanise)
AB212AM: MM81160/9-60
HH-101A: MM81872/9-11
Netherlands, 313sq (Volkel), aircraft loaned from 312sq
F-16AM: J-003, J-008, J-011, J-015, J-021, J-063, J-512, J-516, J-641 and J-646
Poland, 6. Eskadra Lotnictwa Taktycznego (Poznañ/Krzesiny)
F-16C: 4041, 4045, 4047 (special mks), 4049, 4052 (special mks), 4053, 4054, 4057, 4060 and 4062
Switzerland, Fliegerstaffel 11 (Meiringen)
F/A-18C: J-5006, J-5008, J-5011 (special mks) and J-5020
Falcon 20E: F-GPAD

The Dutch contingent unfortunately had to leave the Tiger Meet in the first week in connection with COVID-19 infections within the unit.

NTM21 AVDEF Falcon 20 Jorge Penedo Fotografia 480NTM21 Portugal F 16 CannonTwo 1 480
Photos by Jorge Ruivo, William Jardim, Jorge Penedo Fotografia

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