Supercruise Aviation - Article
Florennes - Tactical Weapons Meet 2017

From 7 to 16 June 2017, a large-scale exercise was held on the Florennes airbase, the Tactical Weapons Meet. The exercise was hosted by 1 Squadron 'Stingers' as part of their 100 year celebrations. 1st Squadron is part of 2W, next to 350 squadron. Both units are stationed at Florennes airbase. The TWM brought together aircraft from six European nations for two weeks for this air combat exercise in June 2017. This edition was visited by the Royal Air Force Bae Hawk T.1 of the 100 Squadron of RAF Leeming, Mig-29A of the 23 BLT of the Polish Air Force based at Minsk, Spanish Typhoon belonging to Ala 11 based at Morón, Italian Typhoon belonging to 4° Stormo from Grosseto and Greek Air Force F-4EPhantom II belonging to the 338 Mira based at Andravida.

TWM brings various objectives to the participants. Improve close combat tactics, learn from the striking differences in performance and agility between the different types of machines involved, air support to troops on the ground in a hostile environment, airborne threats from interceptors and electronic warfare. The pair of Hawk T1 jets from 100 Squadron were present to act as aggressors during the exercise. At the end of this two weeks training participants were brought to a high operational level. All objectives within the exercise were fully achieved.

For me it was the pair of F-4E Phantoms from the 117 Combat Wing based at Andravida - Greece, which attracted most attention. It was great to see both airframes flying during the exercise.

As part of the centenial celebrations of 1st Squadron, a media day was organized on June 15th. This day not only showed the planes participating in the exercise but also showed some nice guest airplanes. Different decorated aircraft from the Belgian Air Force were welcomed at Florennes airbase, but also two Mirage 2000-5F of the GC1/2 "Cigognes" of Luxeuil air base.

An overviwe of the participants and guest airplane on the 15th of June:

Air Force Unit Aircraft
HAF 338 Mira “Ares”, Andravida AB 2 x F-4E PI2000
ItAF 4 Stormo, Grosseto AB 3 x EF2000
PolAF 1.ELT, Minsk Mazowiecki AB 3 x MiG-29
SpAF Ala 11, Moron AB 3 x EF2000
RAF 100 sqn, Leeming AB 3 x Hawk T.1A
BAF 1.sgn and 350 sgn from 2nd Tactical Wing several F-16 AM/BM

Two Mirage 2000-5F based at Luxeuil, France. The 2-EJ with a special coloure scheme. F-16BM “30 years OCU” based at Kleine Brogel, Belgium (OCU=Operational Conversion Unit) F-16AM from the 349 sqn based at Kleine Brogel, Belgium, Motto: “Strike Hard, Strike Home” with a spiked mace on the tail. Two German Eurofighter (Tactical Air Wing 71. Richthofen). One special painted. Several other Belgian aircraft such as Alpha Jet, SF.260, A-109 Helicopter and Embraer ERJ-145

To conclude I want to thank the authorities of the Florennes Base and the members of the 1st Squadron, for the organization and facilities during the media day.

By Edward Antonissen