In order to enhance and sustain some key European defence capabilities, the European Defence Agency is active in the organisation of multinational exercises and training events which also aim at increasing interoperability between armed forces. Initiatives are ongoing in various domains including military air transport, Support helicopters, counter-IED and RPAS. The Agency’s role is to develop training and exercise initiatives until they are sufficiently mature to transfer to Member State ownership.
- Enhancement of Member States' military capabilities
- Improved Interoperability
- Increased readiness for coalition operations
- Capacity development
In line with its mission to enhance EU Member States' defence capabilities, the European Defence Agency organises regular exercise and operational training activities across its directorates.
During more than a decade, EDA has been delivering helicopter tactical training to hundreds of crewmembers all over Europe and has organised 13 multinational helicopter exercises, with the participation of 289 helicopters, 2000 crewmembers and 12000 military personnel.
The portfolio of activities includes 3 training programmes, the Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP), the Helicopter Tactics Course (HTC) Programme, and the Helicopter Tactics Instructors Course (HTIC) Programme, which are some of the most successful, dynamic and respected projects managed by EDA to date. These programmes were initially created to answer to a capability gap reported by Member States, the lack of available helicopters and qualified crews for crisis management operations, but evolved to become a training standard for helicopter training all over Europe. These 3 programmes deliver the following activities/products: - An annual HEP multinational helicopter exercises (Blade exercises) - An annual Helicopter Tactics Symposium (HTS) - Helicopter Tactics courses (HTC) - Helicopter Tactics Instructors courses (HTIC) - Electronic Warfare (EW) courses - Composite Air Operations (COMAO) planning courses - The HEP Standard Operating Procedures (HEP SOP) - A permanent cadre of Helicopter Tactics Instructors (HTI) During the next few years, those projects will be incorporated into the Multinational Helicopter Training Centre (MHTC), the new reference for helicopter training in Europe, which will be hosted in Portugal and with a target to reach Initial Operational Capability (IOC) by end of 2022.