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Royal Flush à la française


« In this world there is two kinds of recce aircraft, those with on-board loaded cameras, and those needing pods »

2/33 Savoie holds Recce Meet

The first Recce Meet was organized by 1st Sqn « Stingers » in Florennes, Belgium, in 2002. A new edition was held last year with French participants only, in Mont-de-Marsan, home of Escadron de Reconnaissance 2/33 Savoie.

Photo de Mirage F-1

« Savoie » of April 2014: 12 F-1CR and 3 F-1B

The intention was to organize Recce Meet on a yearly and international base, from 2014.

Photo de F-18 et F-1CR

Ala 12 F-18’s did not compete for the trophy

Recce squadron « Savoie » organized Recce Meet exercice 2014 from 08 to 11 of April,  again on BA 118.

Picture of Mirafe F-1CR

F-1CR 622 « FA » in a rare clean configuration

In complement to ER 2/33, Escadron de Chasse 1/7 Provence (home base BA 113 Saint-Dizier) participated to Recce Meet with its Rafale.

Picture of Rafale

A 2/30 mighty Rafale takes off with its Reco-NG pod

EC 1/7 is a multirole fighter unit, hence non-dedicated to reconnaissance.

Photo de Rafale

Tactical mission 3 included strike aircrafts

EC 2/30 Normandie-Niémen, a fighter squadron operating from BA 118, also took part to the meeting.

Picture of Rafale

Rafale 127 « GF » taxies back to its sun shelter, in Mont-de-Marsan

Reconnaissance mission was attributed to EC 2/30 as a secondary mission, since it re-equipment with the newest Dassault fighter.

Rafale 132

Another 2/30 Rafale with its Reco-NG real-time digital photo pod

French Navy flottille’s 11F and 12F, routinely deployed overseas with their Rafale, were involved in the exercice

French Navy Rafale

Two podded French Navy Rafale, with 12F markings

As a part of Groupe Aérien Embarqué, they routinely fly recce missions, using Reco-NG pods, as their French Air Force companions.

F18 F1CR 4667

Ejercito del Aire EF-18A left their pods home and provided strike component

ALA 12 of the Ejercito del Aire (Torrejon) was represented with crews and two EF-18A Hornet, which did not fly to Mont-de-Marsan with their recce pods.

RF-4E picture

The other Recce Meet analog camera fighter: Greek Phantom II

MTA 348 of Hellenika Aeroporia (Larisa) came to Recce Meet 2014 as “Invité d’honneur”, two RF-4E Phantom being among the highlights of the show.

Photo de RF-4 grec

Phormidable Phantom made spotter crowd crazy

Vintage Phantom are true recce aircrafts, as Mirage F-1CR, and are among the last representants of such aircrafts in the western world.

Phantom II

There is a lot of stuff in this nose!

The objectives of 2014 Meet was to share recce skills and experiences and to study and practice the integration of recognition in today operations.

F-1CR avec Presto

F-1CR 660 « CY » departing for tactical mission 2, with stand-off PRESTO gear

In particular, recce missions were flown in multinational mixed fighter operations in the recce/strike role against realistic airborne threats.

Picture of F-1CR with Presto

PRESTO pod may be seen as a Reco-NG ancestor

Additionally, the goal was to establish international relationships, within recce mission context.

RF-4E Phantom

In today’s world, opportunity to train in an international context are not common

The exercice consisted in five missions. Three of them were « War  Time Recce » : (1) tactical recce at high speed and low level, (2) use of stand-off sensors at high level, (3) integration of recce mission within COMAO.

Stand-off recce pods were used on day 1 and 2 of Recce Meet

Stand-off recce pods were used on day 1 and 2 of Recce Meet

In addition, two missions of « Peace Time Recce » were flown by each participant: activity search, and creation of potential objectives files.

Photo de Mirage

Peace-time recce missions include regular up-dating of any kind of objectives

Beside flying the aircrafts, all recce process was evaluated: pilot performance, intelligence and image analyse.

Mirage 2000 photo

CEAM operated 2000 stops taxying while F-1CR ignites its ATAR 9K50

Attribution of Recce Meet trophy was based on three criteria: (1) recce work during all exercice, (2) challenges on pictures, observation and interpretation work, (3) identification challenge.


Mission preparation with 2/33 pilots and intelligence officers

In 2013, the trophy was won by ER 2/33 team and in 2014 … Escadron de Chasse 2/30 was the winner.

Rafale du 2/30

2/30 Normandie-Niémen was proud to get Recce Meet 2014 trophy

In 2015, Recce Meet should be organized by the later unit, because Escadron de Reconnaissance 2/33 will be deactivated next summer.

Parachute de RF-4E

RF-4E of MTA 348 will be awaited next year too

Copyright: Alexandre et

Derives F1

Acknowledgements: to SIRPA-Air, with special thanks to Lieutenant Buroni, and BA 118 communication team, and ER 2/33 Savoie, as a whole, in particular LCL Souberbielle and Cdt LePrince.