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NATO air training exercise starts over northern Germany

In World
June 04, 2024

The “Tiger Meet” air defence manoeuvre got under way in the airspace over northern Germany on Monday, with aircraft and personnel from 11 NATO members plus non-NATO countries Switzerland and Austria taking part.

“The first aircraft have been in the air since 9 am (0700 GMT),” a spokesman for Jagel airbase in the state of Schleswig-Holstein told dpa. Around 60 combat jets and helicopters from other countries along, with some 1,100 additional troops, are joining the German air force on the manoeuvre.

Storms in the south of the country on Friday had impacted the original flight plans, the spokesman said. “But they have all arrived,” he added. The first exercises were held during the morning, with further take-offs scheduled for the afternoon.

No night flights are planned for the days ahead, and flight movements will be limited over the weekends. Germany’s tactical 51 “Immelmann” airwing is holding the exercise for the third time after previous exercises in 2004 and 2014.

Amateur enthusiasts filmed the flights on Monday, with up to 1,500 expected to join two “spotter days” on Friday and June 10. The aircraft are traditionally fitted with special paint or foil for the exercise.

The drills are set to run until June 14.

The squadron in Jagel is also due to mark its 30th anniversary as part of the NATO manoeuvre.

The exercise aims to intensify cooperation with partner nations and share aeronautical and technical expertise, according to the German Armed Forces, or Bundeswehr.

Each day, the host nation issues a fictitious scenario that becomes increasingly complex as the exercise progresses, the Bundeswehr said.

The gathering is one of the largest exercises for joint air warfare operations in Europe and offers particularly valuable experience for the participating aircrews, the army added.

A fighter jet with Tiger livery takes off from the airfield of the Tactical Air Force Wing 51 "Immelmann" during the NATO "Tiger Meet" air force training exercises. The international exercise in Jagel, features around 60 fighter jets and helicopters from 11 NATO countries, along with participants from Switzerland and Austria. Marcus Brandt/dpa

A fighter jet with Tiger livery takes off from the airfield of the Tactical Air Force Wing 51 “Immelmann” during the NATO “Tiger Meet” air force training exercises. The international exercise in Jagel, features around 60 fighter jets and helicopters from 11 NATO countries, along with participants from Switzerland and Austria. Marcus Brandt/dpa

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