The Italian HH-212 helicopter is sporting a flamboyant tiger livery.
From May 16, two HH-212 (AB.212ICO) helicopters with the 21° Gruppo (Squadron) “Tiger” from the 9° Stormo (Wing) based at Grazzanise, Italy, have deployed to Zaragoza, Spain, to take part in NTM (NATO Tiger Meet) 2016.
NATO Tiger Meet 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 large COMAOs (Composite Air Operations). In particular, the Italian HH-212s are conducting PR (Personnel Recovery), CSAR (Combat Search And Rescue), NEO (Non-combatant Evacuation Operation), Special Forces support and tactical transports: the same kind of missions the squadron has flown during several tours of duty in Afghanistan.
It is attended by flying units, from 15 nations, sharing a Tiger (or feline) emblem.
One of the two helicopters that the 21° Gruppo brought to Spain is a new special colored HH-212 (MM81161/9-61) that celebrates also then 10 years since the squadron (formerly an F-104 and then Tornado F3 unit) reactivation on their current base. Noteworthy, the 21° has won the “Silver Tiger” trophy for the overall Best Squadron during last year’s Tiger Meet held at Konya, Turkey.
Along with the helicopters, the Italian Air Force has deployed to Zaragoza 6x Eurofighter Typhoons belonging to the 12° Gruppo from 36° Stormo based at Gioia del Colle.
Image credit: Sergio Lanna and Italian Air Force