At the occasion of the Distinguished Visitors Day of the second European Air Transport Training 2013 (EATT13) flying event, senior representatives from European air forces received a thorough insight of the missions and training activities being performed by more than 350 aircrew and ground personnel from eight nations. The two-weeks flying event, which is coordinated by the European Defence Agency (EDA) in close cooperation with the European Air Transport Command and hosted by Spain, allows crews to train different tactical airlift missions in an international environment. The aim is to increase interoperability in the air transport area.
As part of the EDA’s Pooling & Sharing initiative to increase cooperation among participating Member States, EATT13 allows crews to train and qualify together in specific airlift disciplines.
In particular, EATT will consolidate skills in: advanced mission planning, cargo and personnel airdrops, tactical navigation and threat reactions, tactical air land operations, short field landings, formation flying, night operations, aeromedical evacuation, as well as standardised procedures among tactical aircraft operators to enhance interoperability. 350 participants and thirteen aircraft from eight nations participate in the second EATT flying event, initiated by EDA and organised by a Core Planning Team composed of personnel from the European Air Group, the European Air Transport Command, the Joint Air Power Competence Centre, the Tactical Leadership Programme as well as from national headquarters and units. Participants to EATT13 are: Belgium (one C-130 and two crews), Czech Republic (one CN-295 and two crews), France (one C-130 and one CN 235-300 and four crews), Germany (three C-160 and three crews), Italy (one C-27 and two crews), The Netherlands (one C-130 and two crews), Spain (one C-130 and one CN-295 and four crews) and Sweden (two C-130 and two crews). Additionally, Spanish and French air forces will support EATT13 with a number of fighter aircraft (F-18s and Eurofighters from Spain; Rafales and MF1s from France). In addition the French air force will engage one AWACS and Italy one KC-767A. Bulgaria, Finland, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, UK and the US participate in the event as observers. EATT is owned by the nations since they are expressing their respective training requirements for the event. “Today’s operations are multinational ones. It is thus imperative that our trainings are as well. This second transport aircraft flying event has just begun but it is already a success. Compared to last year, we have more nations, more aircraft, more crews and more sorties”, says Rini Goos, Deputy Chief Executive at the European Defence Agency at the opening of the Distinguished Visitors Day.
While the fighter community has been training to operate together for years, the same cannot be said for air transport. Today airlift training in Europe is very much done on a national level and since operating together becomes more the rule than the exception, the need to train together has grown as well.
A major step towards more combined training as well as harmonisation of airlift procedures and processes was the creation of the European Air Transport Fleet (EATF) partnership in 2011. The EATF Ad Hoc Working Group Operations & Training (AHWG O&T) dealing with training at operator’s level, developed amongst others, projects to increase the opportunities to train together and to exchange best practices. The current work strands of the AHWG O&T are a yearly European Air Transport Symposium, European Air Transport Training (EATT) flying events and a European Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Course (EAATTC) as from 2014.
The first EATT was organised in Zaragoza, Spain in June 2012. EATT13 is hosted by Spain at the same airbase on a cost sharing basis from 9-21 June 2013.