Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Saturday "toy"

Looking for pictures of toys – of the soft, cuddly variety – in military use, the Department of Defense database threw up this when I searched for "mascots" … puzzling.

It turns out to be a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CF-18 Hornet, taking off from Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada during the second Tiger Meet of the Americas. And there is the clue.

The Tiger Meet of the Americas, first ever held in Canada, was inaugurated in 2001 in the Western Hemisphere to carry on the Tiger tradition of the long-established European original experience; promoting solidarity and operational understanding between NATO members.

The meet attracted 400 participants and over 20 aircraft, with at least 6 fighter jets painted in distinctive "Tiger" schemes. For a squadron to be invited, only one simple criterion required, the unit must have a Tiger or other big cat on their unit's insignia or as a mascot.

So there you are ... have a cuddly tiger as your mascot and all sorts of nice things happen to you.

Pic taken by Sgt John P. Rohrer, USAF on 17 Sep 2003.


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