Origin and Goals
(here is yet another version, somewhat repetitive, but again offered here so it is not lost)
Following the wishes of M.Pierre Messner, the then French defense minister, the USAFE (United States Air Force Europe) 79th TFS (Tactical Fighter Squadron) took the initiative and on 19 July 1961 they invited No.74 Squadron Royal Air Force and EC 1/12 Squadron of the French Armée de l`air to Woodbridge in England. And so the Association of Tiger Squadrons was established to improve relationships between individual squadrons within NATO. Each of these squadrons had a Tigers' head in their squadron crest. The tiger stands as a symbol of strength, speed and hunting prowess. Due to the success of the first 'meet' it was decided that future 'meets' would be held annually.... At the second Tigermeet at Woodbridge the following aims were formulated. These aims remain valid to this day: Improvement of solidarity between NATO members. The creation and maintenance of team-spirit and camaraderie between the participating members. The exchange of experiences and cooperation in line with the military goals of NATO. Since 1962 Tiger Meets evolved into a first class military exercise where the participants fly combined missions encompassing the entire spectrum of military operations. Alongside low flying emphasis is placed on air to air refueling, air combat, the use of weapon ranges, etc... The exchange of experiences between aircrews is not to be underestimated. For countries that can not afford to participate in large `flag exercises` in North America, 'Tiger Meet' is one of the few multinational exercises available. In view of the changing world security situation, participation is becoming ever more important.
You will not find the NATO Tiger Meet on any NATO exercise schedule. Nor will you find an office at any NATO HQ with responsibility for the NTA. So, the natural questions are: “How do I find out about the tigers and the next tiger meet?”
“How can I contact the NTA president?”
“Where do you get your guidance and authority?”
“Who plans and coordinates your operational missions?”
These questions have been asked countless times throughout our history. The answers often surprise the guy asking the question. The answer provides a glimpse at our most cherished tradition: The NTA is not dependent on any NATO HQ. The Tiger Assembly and the advisors provide guidance, but it is the host squadron that plans the NTM and coordinates the ops side of things. You’ll find us on the web.