8 avril 2014
Pictures: Dirk Pleger, Italian Air Force
Monday 7 April - Norbert Thomas EATC
The first European Air-to-Air Refuelling Training (EART 2014) is running for one week now; A German Airbus A310 MRTT, a Dutch (RNLAF) KDC-10 and the Italian KC-767A are complement on each other to achieve the best results within the given training.
Aim and objectives
Overall aim of EART14 is to get 100% of participants current in their qualifications in a short amount of time and with their dedicated assets, to consolidate existing qualifications or regain them if necessary.
Added training value and derived objections will be:
• Different RV procedures
• Multiple AAR formations
• Tactical AR/Cell procedures e.g. Link16, EMCON 3
• Bailout procedures, SAR
• Involvement in planning processes
• Achieving further Italian KC-767 certification process
• Implementing successfully Eindhoven AFB as a tanker FOB and to build up an AAR cell.
• Assist Frisian Flag 2014 (FF 2014) in all aspects of AAR
The theoretical approach
But where does the need for a highly professional training comes from ?
The deduction from pure military theory bridged over to actual lessons learned and other mid-term developments with international training could be summarized like this:
In general UN/EU/NATO lead missions from crisis establishment up to a nature catastrophe can make it necessary to move forces to remote areas while one of the most important characteristics in the AT-World is the capability to cover large distances within short time: Range capacity. In view of globalization and in concern of worldwide operations it is necessary for an Air Force being either able to operate on large distances or being able to accomplish several tactical operations in parallel - while being supplied with fuel in the air. But not only the transport of personal and material, also the AAR must assist the forces to build up in any thinkable remote theatre, necessarily being self tailored to the mission.
While most of the transport aircraft as well as fighter aircraft are not able to cover intercontinental distances to remote areas in just one sortie, with AAR they are able to reach the far away mission area in adequate time.
While the fighter community has trained to operate together for years (e.g. Tactical Leadership Program (TLP), Flag exercises, large NATO exercises in European airspace, etc.), the same cannot be stated for AAR, a special kind of Air Transport. But with regard to the lessons learned out of Unified Protector over Libya 2011, the need to supply and train together became bigger every day: not only is Europe lacking on tanker aircraft, also its AAR personnel lacks on international experience: First Objective is therefore to develop and conduct a multinational exercise dedicated to AAR inside Europe.
This need was recogniced by the European Defence Agency (EDA) and hence addressed to all EDA Participaing Nations. Convened by all the nations responds, EDA took over the lead to recommend different measures to overcome the EU tanker shortfall.
The running EART 2014 is one important outcome of a cooperation of EDA and EATC: the training will deliver AAR training over a two-week period duration, offering participants a unique opportunity to plan and execute missions within a multinational framework.
EART itself is merged into Frisian Flag. Both training/exercise are tactically organised and conducted by the Host Nation, the Netherlands.
During EART14 training development, FF 2014-bound as well as independent scenarios will be played for each mission according to its specific AAR characteristics and training requirements.
EART14 will be developed on an increasing complexity basis, starting from single ship missions and evolving to being part of COMAO missions within Frisian Flag 2014.
Find much more about EART 2014 here.
6 avril 2014
Sunday 6 April - EATC
EDA, EATC and the Eindhoven Air Base implemented and now conduct the first European Air-to-Air Refuelling Training, EART 2014.
Find first pics from the plattform, the Air Base as well as some airborn impressions. The gallery is to be found here.
4 avril 2014
3 April 2014 by Norbert Thomas - EATC
The Boeing KC-767A derives from the commercial aircraft Boeing 767-200ER (Extended Range). By conceptual design it ensures a superior range and payload capability, as well as a superior range for air-to-air refueling (AAR) - as receiver or tanker. The Italian Air Force acquired four KC-767A aircraft as replacement for its Boeing 707T/T fleet. The first KC-767A has officially entered into service on the 17th May 2011. Upon the entry into service, the first two assets have supported NATO operations in Afghanistan (ISAF) and Libya (OUP). The other two tankers were delivered in late 2011.
The KC-767A is one of the few aircrafts able to supply fuel to all type of receivers (hose and drogue as well as boom receivers) through wing tip air Refuelling pods and centerline hose station as well as through the aerial boom.
The different Refuelling systems are compatible with all Italian and allied aircraft:
- the boom refueling system, a rigid telescoping tube with flow capability of up to 900 gallons (4.091 liters) per minute;
- the centerline hose and drogue system, with a flow capability of up to 600 gallons (2.727 liters) per minute;
- the wing tip AAR-system with a flow capability of up to 400 gallons (1.818 liters) per minute.
Nowadays, the Boeing KC -767A is one of the most modern AAR-aircrafts in service worldwide. As strategic transport aircraft, the KC-767A can be set up in different configurations, with different loading capabilities:
- “Passenger”: up to 200 passengers can be boarded with their respective luggage;
- “Combi”: up to 100 passengers and 10 NATO standard military pallets;
- “Freigther”: up to 19 NATO standard military pallets.
Moreover, the KC-767A is able to be refueled by other boom equipped tankers, in order extend its operational range.
With a loading capability of up to 25 tons (55.115 lb) and being able to be refueled in the air, the aircraft can reach nearly every point on this planet.
Pictures: Italian Air Force
The aircraft will be participant at the first European Air-to-Air Refuelling Training at Eindhoven Air Base. Find out more about it here.
31 mars 2014
31 March by Norbert Thomas – EATC
The first multinational European training on Air-to-Air refueling (AAR) began Saturday afternoon at precisely 3pm with the German tanker aircraft Airbus A310MRTT landing at Eindhoven Air Base.
The day after, Dutch and German soldiers got their first in-brief on the new created training, a coproduction of the Dutch Air Force and the European Air Transport Command, initiated by the European Defence Agency (EDA). The overall briefing was introduced by Colonel JMH (Howard) Colson, Squadron Commander of the 334th Squadron which runs the Dutch KDC-10 and same time hosts this first training event. Within his welcome words he underlined the necessity to expand and exchange the experience in AAR-matters.
Having done this, he gave over to Dutch Major Fred Frohlich, Exercise Director of EART 2014, who introduced some specialists at the briefings beginning: After a short look on the weather forecast, it was a Flight Safety Officer of the Eindhoven Air Base Tower Control to introduce the delegations into the Air Base itself as well as into the complex air traffic environment at and around Eindhoven Air Base, especially with regard to the fact, that the neighbored civil Eindhoven Airport represents the second biggest airfield of the Netherlands.
Next “on stage” was the Intelligence Officer who explained the overall scenario, Frisian Flag 2014 as well as EART 2014 are acting upon, followed by the Chief Flight Safety Officer of Eindhoven Air Base who described the air space boundaries and emphasized the necessity of precise communication among the acting players.
While an in-brief was given in parallel 250 km north at Leeuwarden Air Base for the Frisian Flag participants, it was at Eindhoven Air Base again Major Frohlich who took the floor and outlined the tactical scenarios in his operational EART in-brief. After presenting the training objectives and the exercise set-up, he explained the rules of engagement (ROE) as well as the training rules to be tackled for specific scenarios or situations for a training that takes place over Dutch, German and Danish ground, though mainly operating over the North Sea.
EART 2014 started its first mission today punctually at 9.00 local with the Airbus A310 rising again...