14.05.2012 EDA News
With the EATT exercise on Air Transport Training fast approaching, we spoke to Captain Thilo Scholz. Thilo is a 9-year veteran of the first squadron of the Luftwaffe Air Transport Unit.
First of all, please tell me what unit you are involved with, and what your role is in the team?
My squadron is the 1st C-160 squadron of the 61st Air Transport Wing. Primarily I am an Aircraft Commander of the C-160 Transall and as a second job it is my responsibility, as a Flight Group Leader and Deputy Squadron Commander, to take care of Flight Operations. This includes deployment, training and exercise participation of the Crews. For EATT I was the responsible poiny of contact, preparing the German participation in the training.
Have you had much experience working with other European militaries? How have you found that experience?
In the past years I have been involved in many bilateral training participations with France, such as squadron exchanges and formation trainings, and also with Norway, with exercises like Cold Response and low level training. Additionally since the establishment of EATC as the primary control agency for the German Air Transport Fleet we work together with France, Belgium and the Netherlands on a daily basis and on every level (Planning, Tasking and Mission Execution).
Of course every nation has its own mindset for solving problems and “getting the work done” but in my experience it takes only a short time until a base of communication is established and the national differences are forgotten.
So there is a major training exercise coming up in June. Please tell us a little about EATT ’12. What is it, and who is going to be involved?
EATT is the first exercise for Military Transport Crews in a multinational European environment. The Spanish Airforce is hosting the 2012 edition. The participating nations are Spain, Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic with different types of Aircraft such as C-130 Hercules, C-160 Transall and C-295 Casa. Beside the participating countries, several observers of other European Air Forces, for example Sweden, Austria and Poland will be present to evaluate their possible participation in 2013.
The aim of EATT is to establish a European Air Transport Training facility like the American AATTC (Advanced Airlift Tactical Training Course) to provide a
multinational training for Air Transport Crews in Europe.
What do you hope to learn from the upcoming training exercise? What benefits do you think you will gain?
Every nation has defined its Training Requirements for EATT 2012. For us, the main lessons will be advanced mission planning in a multinational environment, tactical navigation in mountainous terrain and Combined Air Operations (COMAO) in a threat environment.
Due to the numerous aircraft and nations involved in the training, EATT will give us a good chance to harmonize procedures and to learn from other airforces about their tactics.
EATT seems to be a great example of European defence cooperation. Do you agree? What is your general view of European defence cooperation?
EATT is a good example of how military training can be harmonized in Europe. For the future, conducting training on a multinational basis is in my opinion the only way to be cost effective and to get the best possible training results.
With regard to future tasks for the military it is also necessary to harmonize and standardize procedures for missions in a multinational environment.
Regarding these facts the work of the EDA is very important and should be supported by any appropriate means.