The Tigers of the Italian Air Force are flying at the NATO Tiger Meet 2021 (2-14 May 2021) on the Beja Air Base in Portugal. Joining them on the front line is Leonardo with Eurofighter jets from the 12th Group of the 36th Gioia del Colle Squadron, based in Bari, featuring a special livery competing for the prize for best livery, and HH-101 helicopters, sent to Portugal alongside the HH-212s from the 21st Group of the 9th Grazzanisce Squadron based in Cesena.
The Tiger Meet is an exercise with aircraft and pilots representing different NATO forces from various countries, traditions and cultures, who all fly under the symbol of the Tiger and meet to develop and strengthen their espirit de corps, cooperation and operations.
The NATO Tiger Association was formed in 1961 to promote cooperation and solidarity between NATO squadrons with a Tiger’s head in their squadron crest.
The objective of the exercise is to train a new generation of pilots, prepare them for future challenges on the international scene, and encourage the integration of new skills with new weapons systems in order to facilitate the transition towards fifth-generation aircraft and strategies.
The 2021 exercise is hosted by the 301 Jaguares Squadron of the Portuguese Air Force, with the nine air divisions and 11 allied countries fully respecting Covid-19 safety measures.