Tigermeet of the Americas (TMOTA): Tiger-Ecki shows the tiger scarf

In Memoriam Ecki:

Hallo Claus, hier a couple of words about the TMOTA 2001 in Buckley.

Remark: during my whole stay in Buckley I representeted (together with Sveni P. and Paule N.) the 321 squadron, as my canadian friend "Sleepy" Cotrell represented his old 439 squadron. Of course everyone represents this way also his airforce and his country in some way. So it is! I knew the POs already since middle of 2000, when I gave them lots of infos and hints about NATO Tiger Meet customs.

About the flight: after I didn't get "my EF-18" in Spain and I constantly nagged my canadian friend with that misery he suprisingly offered me a passenger flight in a CF-18 of his former squadron!!! The flight was a COMAO/large force employment in Red Flag style comprising a 3 hr 13 min medium-low-medium mission from Buckley ANGB/Co via the Rockys and passing Salt Lake City to a "Tiger-Tanker" KC-135. My Pilot was FltLt S. Reed (brit. exchange pilot, with only 100 hrs on the type, who had been a TORNADO IP before ;-)))

We flew in a 4-ship formation to the AAR and continued to the Utah Test Training Range UTTR where we had a short rendezvous with some Tiger-fighters (F-15 and F-16) for a fotoshooting. After that we flew to the pushpoint for the low level attacks against a simulated SA-6 site. We flew in 300 ft AGL with 16 aircraft in stream against 12 adversaries (sim. Mig 21 and Mig 29 etc.). The salt-lake area beneath us was totally white and everywhere duds and old rocket parts were stuck in the ground ... a huge area and flat like a board for at least 15-20 min flight time. With 420 KIAS the CE-18 felt as if we would fly 540+ knots in a TORNADO .... so bumpy. After the usual "BVR - and MERGE air-to-air fights on the radio" and a SA-6 attack we joined again the KC-135 tanker. There our pictures were shot by Kevin Jackson the brittish of the sent texts.

The CF-18 can be flown quite easily and has power without end. Huge space in the cockpit and a feel like in a S-Class Mercedes Benz. .... After 3 hours and 13 minutes we were back to Buckley. After a sharp 4-ship overflight with pull-up into the closed pattern we landed with a typical F-18 carrier landing ... kawoooommmm.

After that we had a Red-Flag typical debriefing in the squadron and a tiger debrief at the bar with some of me and Paule initiated carrier landings in IMC and at night ... ;-))) After that we went downtown - hunting. Extremely appreciated by the Dever-guys was the bavarian snuff and by the Denver-girls our lick-on tattoos. Overall another heavenly day- and night mission of the Tigers in Buckley/Denver without "own losses". By the way on one evening the "Warriors" were honoured. What is that? Well, everybody who had ever participated in a real combat mission (Korea, Vietnam, Golf and also Kosovo) had to stand up. For the first time also a german pilot stood up who flew Allied Force missions in Kosovo.

Overall: The 4 "Sheppard Tigers" who came to fly in with two T-37 (for the T-38 the field elevation was too high and the temps too warm regarding the T/O data - CAT 4 with nearly 6000 ft MSL field elev.) had a lot of fun and left an excellent impression despite our short weekend stay. In 2003 I will fly to Coldlake, maybe with a Tiger T-38 (we work on that) to again hold up the flag or MY 321 squadron and for the Luftwaffe! YEAH!

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