The second and final week of the European Air Transport Transport Training (EATT14) got under way in Plovdiv, Bulgaria on Monday.
With 460+ participants, 19 crews, and 10 transport aircraft of 5 different types, coming from 10 different countries, EATT 14 is the only multinational European airlift training. The training is organised by EDA in close cooperation with the EATC, the host nation Bulgaria, and with support from the other participating countries.
The training is helping the member countries to achieve a far reaching level of interoperability between their tactical airlift users in the area of operations and training. Day and night missions will continue until 27 June, with countries tailoring the training to meet their needs and requirements.
Eleven participating countries
Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Spain, Norway are all participating in the training with transport aircraft. Meanwhile, Greece is supporting the exercise with F-16’s and an AEW&C aircraft. Additionally, Austria, Finland, Hungary, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, UK, and USA are sending observers, with strong signals that more will join the exercise next year.
Helping to fill an important gap
The airlift training takes place within the framework of the European Air Transport Fleet (EATF) partnership. The aim of the EATF is to alleviate the existing airlift shortfall in the EU as well as to identify potential projects to optimise cooperation and coordination amongst air forces in the area of operations and training.
EATT 14 works along side other EDA supported training initiatives such as the European Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Course (EAATTC), which will take place in Zaragoza for the first time in September 2014. It also aims to boost an important enabler for multinational missions and operations, as does the European Air-to-Air Refuelling Training (EART), which was held in Eindhoven for the first time earlier this year.
These initiatives form one aspect of EDA’s work to help Member States to fill important capability gaps in a cooperative way. This work focuses on helping countries pool their resources, raise skill levels and share best practices between participating countries, and improve interoperability for multinational operations. This is particularly important with an ever-increasing number of operations being carried out jointly.
In order to better support training activities within EU, with its recent restructuring EDA established a dedicated Education, Training & Exercise Unit in the Cooperation Planning & Support Directorate.