NATO, Tactical Leadership Program: Flying Course 21-04 concluded

(To air Force)

Friday 3 December, at the Tactical Leadership Program (TLP) of Albacete (Spain), the Flying Course 2021-04, in which personnel and assets from seven different nations (Italy, Spain, Germany, France, United States and United Kingdom) took part for a total of 39 aircraft divided between "Blue Air", "Red Air" and support assets .

For the Italian Air Force, two crews from the 36th flock of Gioia del Colle and two crews from the 51st flock of Istrana took part in the flight course. Euro Fighter doing business multirole therefore both of the OCA-DCA type (Offensive-Defensive Counter Air) and type AI (Air Interdiction).

The Air Force also provided support to the course by sending a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) and a Laser Operator (LO) of the 16th wing of Martina Franca.

They have been qualified mission commander also two crews of the Embarked Aircraft Group (GRUPAER) of the Italian Navy from MARISTAER Grottaglie with AV-8B aircraft Harrier II.

During the three weeks of the course the crews alternated in the key position of mission commander, a figure whose task is to coordinate, with other specialty leaders, the different phases of planning a "Composite Air Operations" (COMAO), training in the management and use of multiple assets with specific capabilities from different countries .

To this end, learning of the 4T Process - Task, Target, Threat, Tactics was fundamental, conducted during the mission brainstorming phase and aimed at highlighting and improving the leadership skills of the individual participants.

A novelty of this course was the participation of four US F-35s, deployed at the US air base of Rota (Spain), which took part in the mission Unconventional Assisted Recovery (UAR) and two F-35Bs in service on the aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth of the British Royal Air Force who instead took part only in the planning phases of the UAR and Integrated Air Defense System Attack (IADS).

The presence of 5th generation assets, albeit limited to only two missions, nevertheless represented a further step in the integration process with 4th generation aircraft promoted by the TLP.  

The TLP, which has been based at the Albacete air base since July 2009, is an organization founded on the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by 10 signatory nations: Italy, Spain, United States, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Holland, Greece, Germany and Denmark.

The mission is to improve the effectiveness of air operations conducted by the Allied Forces, promoting the development of both assertive leadership skills, as well as analysis, planning and execution, specific to a mission commander.

The TLP also actively collaborates with NATO on the basis of a "Letter of Agreement" signed by the two organizations.