Eight aircraft, eight crews and more than 170 military personnel will gather next week in Zaragoza, Spain, for a true European first. From 21 September to 3 October, the European Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Course (EAATTC) will be joined by seven Member States and hosted by the Spanish Air Force.
Initiated by the European Defence Agency in close cooperation with the European Air Transport Command (EATC), this first-of-its-kind initiative is a perfect example of pooling and sharing. Its aim is to provide air transport crews with academic as well as flying training tactics and procedures through three main courses: single-ship, multiple-ships, and night-vision goggles (NVG). A dedicated tactics techniques and procedures manual will form the basis of this syllabus. The EATC is an important contributor to the EAATTC initiative, providing major support to the course in terms of human resources while also leading the cadre of instructors that will deliver the syllabus to the students.
This course was designed by the EDA as a European alternative to the American AATTC initiative, a rendezvous that has been attended for decades by airlift crews from the US and allied nations. However, European Member States are now seeking different ways to provide their crews with this much-needed training. EAATTC is the perfect answer to that rising challenge, with European air forces now able to benefit from a high-level training closer to their home bases, thus saving the cost of a return trip across the Atlantic. At the end of EAATTC 14, an initial class of students will be the very first to graduate from this European-led course.
EAATTC is one of the tangible outputs of the wider European Air Transport Fleet (EATF) partnership, launched in 2011 and now gathering 19 Member States plus NO (AT, BE, BG, CZ, DE, EL, ES, FI, FR, IT, LT, LU, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SE and HU). The initiative aims to achieve a higher level of interoperability between airlift crews from different nations and to increase harmonisation of advanced tactical training. Other activities undertaken as part of EATF include the European Air Transport Training (EATT) series of events as well as the European Air Transport Symposium, both organised once a year by the European Defence Agency; the further development and management of the diplomatic clearances technical arrangement; and the development of a common maintenance and training project for operators of the C-27J Spartan transport aircraft.
List of EAATTC14 participating Member States
- Belgium: 1 x C-130 Hercules
- Czech Republic: 1 x C295
- Germany: 1 x C160 Transall
- Spain : 1 x C-130 Hercules, 1x C295
- France: 1 x C160 Transall
- Italy : 1 x C-27J Spartan
- The Netherlands: 1 x C-130 Hercules