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Helicopters Training Programme: ITALIAN CALL 2011 starts on 23 May

Italy will host a Multinational Helicopter Exercise from 23 May to 12 June 2011, as part of the European Defence Agency's Helicopter Training Programme (HTP). “IT CALL 2011” follows two past successful exercises: GAP 2009 and AZOR 2010.

The European Helicopter Training Programme was approved by Ministers of Defence in November 2009 to increase in the short-term the availability of helicopters for crisis management operations. The Programme started in 2010 and consists of two live exercises per year - one focusing on individual training and one on interoperability and operational tactics. An annual symposium takes stock of lessons learned from operations and further shapes the development of additional exercises.

This Helicopter Training Programme is one of EDA’s most successful stories. Together with Member States, the Agency realised that the lack of transport helicopters deployed into operational scenarios is not so much related to a lack of helicopters in itself. The training factor seems to be the major determinant, as crews are insufficiently trained to fly in the kind of environments that reflect current operational circumstances (high-altitude, low-visibility, dusty or snowy environments). Taking into account Member States' requirements, EDA organises the training for "hot & dusty" or for "snow & mountains" conditions, exactly the scenarios Member States are facing.

So far, 63 helicopter crews trained under the Helicopter Training Programme have deployed to Afghanistan.

Andrew Gray, EDA Helicopter Project Manager, explains briefly the aim of the HTP and the purpose of the next Exercise, IT CALL 2011:


To follow the IT CALL 2011, visit the exercise's blog:

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