The first-ever edition of the European Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Course (EAATTC) has started on 21 September in Zaragoza, Spain. Michele Rega, EDA Project Officer Fixed-Wing Aircraft and EAATTC14 exercise director, discusses the objectives and the program of the event.
What is the scope of EAATTC14, and what are its main expected outcomes?
Considering the success of previous European Air Transport Training (EATT) events delivered since 2012 under the auspices of EDA, Member States from the European Air Transport Fleet (EATF) partnership decided that besides offering combined training on a recurrent basis, a tactics course should also be established in Europe.
The main objective of EAATTC is therefore to provide a robust airlift tactics training syllabus to enhance interoperability between aircrews. We take qualified crews into a theatre deployment mindset and we make them fly airland and airdrop missions in a tactically-challenging environment, including surface-to-air and air-to-air threats.
What will be the program of the coming days?
The first week of EAATTC is a combination of academic lessons and flights, in accordance with the agreed syllabus. Twelve hours of classroom time are planned: these academics will rely upon the EAATT Tactics Techniques and Procedures (ETTP) and will be delivered by a cadre of instructors provided by the European Air Transport Command (EATC).
Nine flights will also take place as part of the course, for a total of 18 hours. The flight schedule will be based on single-ship missions, with all but one sortie being flown in a single wave. Crew training will of course include the mission planning phase as well. And at the end of the course on 2 October, a certificate will be delivered to the graduating students.
What are the synergies with other European efforts in the air transport domain?
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Michele Rega is EDA Project Officer Fixed-Wing Aircraft and EAATTC14 exercise director
First, I think it is worth keeping in mind that all the Agency’s activities in the field of air transport are initiated out of the EATF partnership, signed in 2011 by 19 EU Member States as well as Norway. The EATC in Eindhoven is also a major partner and provides outstanding support to the planning and execution of those activities. As far as EAATTC is concerned, we are currently working on the establishment of a permanent European advanced airlift training centre whose location should be decided by the end of 2014.
Originally, it was envisioned that the EAATTC would replace the EATT events, but Member States expressed an interest in keeping both in order to keep practicing national training objectives. This is why in 2015, we will see one EATT and three EAATTC events taking place around Europe. Topics of interest to the air transport community are also discussed thoroughly during the European Air Transport Symposium (EATS) organised each year by EDA.
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