U.S. Embassy “relocation” was supported by F-16, MV-22 Osprey as well as EP-3E Aries II aircraft
The US embassy in Tripoli, Libya, was evacuated with staff “relocated” to Tunisia in the early hours of Saturday Jul. 26 amid continuing clashes between rival militias in the capital and fighting at the airport.
Although the DoD said both F-16s and MV-22 Ospreys and ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) aircraft supported the evacuation, it did not unveil U.S. Navy EP-3E ARIES II signal intelligence platforms were involved in the operation.
The ARIES II is a highly modified version of the P-3C that became famous on Apr. 1, 2001 when one such planes and its crew were detained for 11 days following a collision with a Chinese J-8IIM fighter (that crashed causing the death of the pilot) and the subsequent emergency landing at Ligshui airbase, in Hainan island.
The U.S. Navy spyplane, most probably operating out of Sigonella, Italy, was already spotted over Libya in 2012. At the time there were rumors the aircraft was involved in operations aimed at detecting and tracking smuggled weapons travelling towards Egypt and destined to Gaza.
Below, an image of an F-16 (from Aviano airbase?) circling over Tripoli.
NATO Tiger Meet is an annual exercise that gathers squadrons sporting Tiger (or feline) emblems. Planes that attend it, usually get painted in tiger outfits. As happened during 2014 edition in Germany.
NATO Tiger Meet (NTM) is a two-week multi-national mid-size exercise that includes all types of air-to-air and air-to-ground and a wide variety of support missions, comprising CSAR and large COMAOs (Composite Air Operations).
NTM2014 (with spotters days on Jun. 19 and 23) was held at Schleswig – Jagel, in northern Germany.
The other Stratotanker refueled Swedish Air Force JAS 39 Gripens by means of the hose released by the underwing pods. The so-called hose and drogue system is used for aircraft equipped with the IFR (In Flight Refueling) probe (U.S. Navy standard) whereas the rigid, telescoping tube with movable flight control surfaces (the “boom”) is used to refuel those aircraft equipped with the U.S. Air Force standard AAR (Air-to-Air Refueling) receptacle.
Noteworthy, the U.S. planes depicted in the footage carry (dummy) missiles, whilst Swedish Gripens are unarmed.
The Dutch F-16 demo team is based at Leeuwarden Airbase and made of personnel from both the 323 and 322 Squadrons. The team consists of one display pilot, Captain Jeroen “Slick” Dickens, four display coaches, eight technical specialists and a webmaster.
The Apache Solo Display Team 2014 of the 301 ‘Redskins’ Apache Squadron is based at Gilze-Rijen Air Base and represents the only AH-64 Apache demo in the world (Apache demonstrations are normally only performed by Boeing).
Majoor Roland “Wally” Blankenspoor and Kapitein Harm “Kaas” Cazemier are the two pilots of the Dutch Apache demo team 2014. The team includes three display coaches and six technical specialists.
During the practice of the Gilze-Rijen airshow, the two aircraft flew together, and here are the shots taken from inside both cockpits.