No less than 25 people made their way to the first ever International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition (IADE) in Tunisia. Flying in from both Schiphol as well as other airports to Djerba, we were greeted by our bus driver that took our group to the very nice all-inclusive hotel on the beach on Tuesday 3 March 2020. After a great diner in the restaurant it was time for some rest.
Perfectly on time, our bus was present in the morning (Wednesday 4 March) to pick us up and bring us to Djerba, where IADE would kick off today. Upon arrival, we received our press passes and before we knew it we could walk out on the ramp to take the first pictures. The first three days of the show were focused on trade, with the last two days being accessible to the general public as well. On this first day of the show, IADE was officially opened in presence of the President of Tunisia and commander-in-chief, Mr. Kais Saied. The opening was performed by a fly-by of a Tunisian F-5F from 15 Squadron, flanked by two L-59Ts from 13 Squadron. Unfortunately, that was the only Tunisian Air Force participation in the air show until the second public day, when the fly-by was repeated. The Air Show consisted of performances by the F-16 of Solo Türk and the Saudi Hawks. Originally, more assets from the Tunisia Air Force were scheduled but were cancelled. In the static show, the United States provided the majority of the aircraft, displaying a P-8, C-130J, KC-135 and two F-16s. Besides that, The Tunisian Forces showed a C-130J, OH-58D and National Guard Bell 429. Further additions to the static show were announced on beforehand but this did not materialise in the end.
Nevertheless, the group was happy as we already saw a number of different types, including an AB205 and Bell 412 that would not return the rest of the week.