On Monday 5 October, we drove to Mitiga (also known as Umm Aitiqah and Okba ben Nafi and as Wheelus AFB some time ago) relatively early. While waiting for our entry passes for the next four days, we were able to have a short peek at the static display. The view of several aircraft types of the Libyan air force was rather comforting; a Flogger, Fitters and a (withdrawn) Foxbat were present at least.
After entering the showground it showed that the flightline of the local 1023 (MiG-23) squadron also contained a number of Floggers. The attempts to get there were hampered by the security staff. This game of cat-and-mouse between visitors and the security would eventually become a red thread running through the tour. The personnel of the units of the Libyan air force at the air base appeared to be very cooperative, hospitable and eager to show what they had. The security staff, however, was instructed to send away those that were interested in time. The end result was that there was no official opportunity to visit the operational units and that all that ended up there in the end had outsmarted security.
Just after a Chinook had dropped some paratroopers, the air display was opened by a formation flight of two Floggers and a Mirage F1DD. The air show was, as expected, quite limited. The foreign contribution to the air display was limited to a M311, a Eurofighter and a Rafale. A the end of the day, some interesting shots could be made of the aircraft on static display. During the evening another diner was enjoyed in a local restaurant and the group ended up in bed at a very reasonable time.