The Arctic Tiger

"In waking a tiger, use a long stick." -  Mao Zedong 

The NATO Tiger Association or the Association of Tiger Squadrons was established in 1961. Promoted by French Defence minister Pierre Messmer, its role is to promote solidarity between NATO air forces. It is not, though, part of the formal NATO structure. The USAFE (United States Air Force Europe) 79th TFS (Tactical Fighter Squadron) took the initiative and on 19 July 1961 they invited No. 74 Squadron RAF and EC (Fighter Squadron) 1/12 Provence of the French Armée de l'air to Woodbridge in England. France was then a full military member of NATO. As of March 2015, the squadrons included in the Association are 23 full members, 10 honorary members, 1 probationary member, and 7 disbanded members, all of which have a tiger as part of its squadron crest. As well as being opportunities for NATO air forces to share ideas and experiences, the ‘Tiger Meets’ are also public relations exercises for NATO. NATO aircraft are often brightly painted with tiger stripes. Source: Wikipedia