BEST HIT was a NATO competition in which the air forces of Italy, Greece and Turkey (plus a “guest-team” consisting of USAF 401 TFW from Torrejon, Spain and a USNavy unit from the USS Roosebelt, on mission in the Mediterranean Sea) took part.
Fliegerhorst Jever in Northern Germany hosted the 7th NATO Tactical Weapons Meet , which was an exercise between 2 & 4 ATAF (Allied Tactical Air Force). Units involved were : 311/312 sq.,K.Lu.(Volkel) ; 16 sq., RAFG (Larbruch); 3rd Wing, RCAF (Bad-Söllingen) ; 11th Escadre , FAF (Toul-Rosières); 50th TFW , USAFE (Hahn) ; 48th TFW , USAFE (Lakenheath) ; 10th Wing , BAF(Kleine Brogel); JBG31/33 , WGAF(Nörvenich/Büchel) and LeKG42 , WGAF (Pferdsfeld). This gallery comprises a photo-report of the aircraft participating and also of some visiting and resident aircraft. Hans visited the Meet from 17 to 19 June 1968. Some aircraft-spotting pictures could be taken on the 17th. Special thanks to J.A.H. van den Oever and F.Spangenberg.
In the old days NATO organized several exercises; TWM (Tactical Weapons Meet) was a competition between 2ATAF and 4ATAF (Allied Tactical Air Force). In 1972 it was held for the 10th time and participants at Florennes in Belgium were Canadian AF Starfighters (Judge Team), Belgian AF Starfighters) (2nd Wing , Florennes), French AF Mirages (Guest Team, Esc.11/3, Nancy-Ochey) ,W.German AF Starfighters (JBG31, Nörvenich and JBG33, Büchel), R.Neth.AF(311/312 sq., Volkel, Starfighters), Royal Air Force Germany (14/17/31 sq.,Brüggen with Phantoms) and USAF in Europe ( 36TFW, Bitburg and 81TFW, Bentwaters, Phantoms).
On 11-12 July 1972 Frank and Hans were invited to visit the NATO Helicopter Meet that was organized at Naval Air Station Lee-on-Solent, in Britain. The flight to and fro was made in Fokker F-27 “C-8” of the K.Lu. Participating to the Meet were delegations from the RAF (Whirlwind helis),Royal Navy (Wessex-helis), USAFE (Huskies), R.Danish Navy (Alouette IIIs), R.Danish Air Force (Sikorsky S-61s), R.Neth.AF (Alouette IIIs) , R.Neth.Navy (Agusta-Bell UH-1s) , French Navy (Alouette IIIs) , WGAF (Bell UH-1s), WGNavy (Sikorsky H-34s) and Italian AF (Agusta-Bell 204Bs).
The 1976 TWM (Tactical Weapons Meet) was the 12th edition of central Europe’s tactical attack competion. It was was held at Twente AB (NL) from 28 April till 15 May , visited by Frank on the 7th and by Hans on the 10th of May. TWM was a contest between teams of 2ATAF (Allied Tactical Air Force) and 4ATAF. The team from 2ATAF consisted of NF-5As of 316 squadron KLu of Gilze-Rijen AB, Mirages of 1 sqn BAFBierset, Starfighters of 1/31 JaBo Luftwaffe from Nörvenich and Phantoms of 31 sqn RAFG. 4ATAF consisted of 1/32 JaBo Luftwaffe, 1 CAG Canada, 22TFS/36TFW USAF and 23TFS/52TFW USAF from Spangdahlem (flying F-4D’s ). The French AF had sent a guest team, 3/13 Escadre from Colmar, equipped with Mirage 5Fs.The chase planes were NF-5Bs of Twente.
From 28 -30 May 1974 Frank and Hans were invited to attend the 11th NATO Tactical Weapons Meet , organized at Canadian Forces Base Baden-Söllingen in Germany; they also joined in for a flight to the Suippes-Gunnery Range in Northern France in a Bell-helicopter of the Luftwaffe. Participants to the Meet this time were : (2 ATAF) R.Neth.AF , 315 sq., Twenthe ; (2ATAF) Belgian AF , 10th Wing , Kleine Brogel ; (2ATAF) Royal Air Force Germany, 17 sq., Brüggen ; (2ATAF) W.German AF , JBG31 , Nörvenich ; (4ATAF) W.German AF , JBG34 , Memmingen ; (4ATAF) Canadian AF , 439 sq., Söllingen ; (4ATAF) USAFE , 50TFW , Hahn ; (4ATAF) USAFE 36TFW , Bitburg ; (Guest Team) French AF , Escadre 3/13 , Colmar). Winner of the Meet was 2 ATAF which received the Broadhust Trophy. By the way , Hans and Frank wrote a vivid article on this subject in the July 1974-issue of Flash Aviation Magazine.
On July 17th, 1973 Hans and Frank visited the NATO-AIRSOUTH Fighter Weapons Meet BEST HIT, which was held at Istrana AB in Italy. Competing were teams of USAFE (613 TFS , 401 TFW, Torrejon ,Spain), US Navy (Carrier Attack Wing 7 , USS Independence) , Italian AF (8th Wing , Cervia) , Hellenic AF (341 sq., Nea Anghialos) and Turkish AF (192 sq.,Balikesir) . Photography appeared to be not allowed (!) during their visit and instead all the pictures shown in this gallery were taken by NATO-AIRSOUTH PR-officials during their walk-around along the flight-lines. The slide-scans are duplicates issued to them for publication together with the group-pictures.
Florennes Air Base hosted the 17th Royal Flush aerial reconnaissance competition from 13 to 21 June 1973. Hans and Frank visited the exercise on June 14th, 1973. The teams that took part were : W.German AF (AKG51, Bremgarten , with RF-4E’s) ; USAF in Europe (17TRS/26TRW , Zweibrücken and 32TRS/10TRW , Alconbury with RF-4C’s) ; Royal Air Force Germany ( 2 sq.,Larbruch , with Phantom FGR.2’s) ; R.Neth.AF ( 306 sq., Volkel , with RF-104G’s) ; Belgian AF ( 42 sq.,Florennes , with Mirage VBR’s ; French AF (Escadre de Rec. 3/33 ,Strasbourg , with Mirage IIIR’s) ; (Judge Team) French AF , Esc.2 , Dijon with Mirage IIIB’s ; (Judge Team) WGNavy , MFG.1/2 , Schleswig/Eggebeck with TF-104G’s ;(JudgeTeam) R.Norwegian AF with Northrop F-5B’s ; (Target Reconnaissance) RAF , 39 sq. with Canberra PR.7s . A number of nice action-shots , presented in this gallery , could be made by Hans and Frank during this Meet!
From 25 to 29 May 1970 the fourth NATO Helicopter Rescue Meet was organized at the former R.Neth.AF base Ypenburg near The Hague. Hans was invited on the 28th of May to make a photo-report and his pictures are shown in this gallery. The competition brought together rescue-delegations from 7 countries and the winner of the Henri Dunant trophy proved to be the Royal Air Force -team , flying Westland Whirlwind-helicopters. (see also our gallery on the 1972 Heli Meet , then taking place at Lee-On-Solent , U.K.!) (special thanks to Mr. N. Larsen)
In May 1970 the annual NATO recce exercise “Royal Flush” was organized at the Dutch airbase of Deelen (now closed); participants were : USAFE (26TRW and 10TRW) with RF-4 Phantoms, BAF (42 sq.)with Thunderflashes, CAF (1 CAG) flying CF-104G Starfighters, R.Dan.AF (729 Esk) with Thunderflashes, FAF (ER 33) , Luftwaffe (AKG51) with RF-104G Starfighters, RAF (31 sq.) and R.Neth.AF/K.Lu. (306 sq.) thatwas equipped with RF-104G Starfighters. On May 14 Frank and Hans were allowed to pay a visit.