A Feline Visitor

by Dr. Marshall Michel
86th Airlift Wing historian

***image2***Some sharp-eyed readers may have noticed the unusual “tiger stripe” markings on the Greek Air Force A-7 pictured in the KA a few weeks ago. The markings show that the aircraft was on its way to the 2007 NATO Tiger Meet at Orland Air Base, Norway.

Tiger Meet began in 1961 primarily as a primarily social meeting between NATO flying units with a tiger in the unit’s crest. Over the years the meets grew in size, due in large part to the efforts of a young F-100 pilot, Mike Dugan, who later became the U.S. Air Force chief of staff. Now, Tiger meets have morphed and include exercises, combined air operations missions, and conferences aimed at the promotion of NATO operations and solidarity. 

***image3***Normal dress is the flight suit and ground crew work uniform, but most squadrons have “tiger” scarves and the ground crews have “special additions” to their work uniforms. Many arriving aircrew sport national headgear when they arrive, including French berets, American cowboy hats, German spiked helmets and Portuguese bullfighter hats. 

E-mail questions and comments to marshall.michel@ramstein.af.mil