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13 août 2014 3 13 /08 /août /2014 11:55
Première transatlantique-nord pour l’A400M

 

13/08/2014 Armée de l'air

 

C’est une expérimentation de plus à mettre à l’actif de l’A400M «Atlas», le nouvel avion de transport tactique de l’armée de l’air!

 

Samedi 9 août 2014, l’A400M «MSN 08» a rejoint Washington (États-Unis) en près de 7h30 de vol, une prouesse réalisée notamment grâce aux performances remarquables de ses quatre turbopropulseurs TP400.

 

Évoluant à la vitesse de Mach 0.68 et au niveau de vol 350 (10 km d’altitude), l’Atlas a pour la première fois emprunté les fameuses North Atlantic Tracks (NAT), voies aériennes utilisées par la plupart des avions de ligne assurant des vols transatlantiques vers les côtes nord-américaines.

 

Au cours de cette mission réalisée  au profit de l'European Air Transport Command (EATC - commandement du transport aérien européen), l’équipage français a quitté la base aérienne 123 d’Orléans pour Cologne (Allemagne), où il a chargé du fret à destination de Washington, via une courte escale à Shannon (Irlande). L’Atlas s’est ensuite rendu au Canada, sur les aéroports de Calgary et de Québec, avant de rejoindre Bruxelles (Belgique) d’une seule traite, pour finalement regagner sa base de stationnement à Orléans.

 

La première traversée de l’Atlantique par l’A400M remonte au mois de mars dernier. L’avion de transport s’était alors rendu en Guyane et en Martinique.

 

Arrivé dans les forces à l’été 2013, l’A400M Atlas est un avion de transport militaire tactique disposant d'une capacité d'allonge stratégique. Unité du centre d’expériences aériennes militaires (CEAM) stationnée sur la base aérienne 123 d’Orléans, la Multinational Entry Into Service Team (MEST) est responsable de l’expérimentation de l’appareil et de la formation des embryons des premières unités A400M, dont notamment l’escadron de transport 1/61 «Touraine».

Première transatlantique-nord pour l’A400M
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12 août 2014 2 12 /08 /août /2014 14:50
A400M at Washington

A400M at Washington

 

Tuesday 12 August - Norbert Thomas  News & Press updates

 

Although the German Air Force will receive the first own A400M "Atlas" planned in November 2014 - and Belgium in 2018 - both nations can already use the services of the new European transport aircraft: On 09 August 2014, the A400M flew for the first time German part load out of Cologne military airport towards Washington Dulles airport. MSN008 (military 0008/F-RBAB) returned today from the Canada with first Belgian and additional French partload on board - having since then crossed some international borders…

Crossing new borders


The original mission - led by two French crews on board - was to carry out French aircraft equipment out of Orléans, where all three EATC assigned (and French) A400M are actually stationed. When also air transport requests from Belgium and Germany found their way to the EATC, it turned out, that all three nations could be serviced with one combined mission. This mission was consequently designed in a way that the aircraft was first to land in Cologne-Wahn. The aircraft then turned over to Shannon (Ireland) for a fuel stop. Crossing the Atlantic the Atlas entered Washington Dulles Airport in the late evening, where the aircraft lifted its cargo bay – the German partload was addressed to the German detachment at Holloman Air Force Base (New Mexico). The planned flight path sent the aircraft further to Calgary (Alberta, Western Canada), where it took up the Belgian as well as additional French partload. After a planned fuel stop at Quebeck City (Quebeck, Eastern Canada), the aircraft again headed over the Atlantic towards Brussels military airport at Melsbroek, where MSN008 arrived at 10.15 local. Finally reaching its home base, the “Atlas” had covered a total distance of more than 10.000 nautical miles, nearly 20.000 kilometers.

 

Mission overview


Always in the starting blocks


Watching this remarkable aircraft diving through the skies is also due to many EATC impulses within its Functional Division, where aircraft specialists of the EATC Participating Nations created successfully a number of concepts to accelerate the aircrafts introduction into the national Air Forces.  
 “We have made our homework yet”, remarks EATC Commander, Major General Christian Badia, as EATC provides guidance and know-how, e.g. by enhancing many interoperability measures around the new aircraft - thus decreasing later expensive harmonization procedures. “When in a few months the first German A400M touches the ground of Air Transport Wing 62 in Hannover-Wunstorf, the German Air Force can rely on us when it comes to functional and operational issues on this very modern aircraft. By the way, this first complex A400M mission with international payload indicates, that EATC gathers all the momentum, taking action and care to make the A400M introduction a success – in functional as well as in operational matters. And it (EATC) has to, because in less than one decade we run a hundred of this remarkable aircraft.”   

Find more about the A400M evolution here


 

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10 août 2014 7 10 /08 /août /2014 11:50
A400M Atlas MSN015 photo Neil Bryden

A400M Atlas MSN015 photo Neil Bryden

 

7 August - Rebecca Jepps - EATC

 

The RAF’s first Atlas, MSN015 is currently on the Final Assembly Line (FAL) and is very shortly due to make its first flight. It will then be painted with the RAF markings and roundels and is scheduled to be delivered to its new home at RAF Brize Norton in autumn this year. All pilots destined to fly "Atlas" will be initially trained and awarded their coveted RAF ‘wings’ by 45(R) Sqn, part of No 3 Flying Training School. The A400M will replace British C-130K Hercules and will provide an enhanced tactical and strategic capability to the RAF’s Air Mobility Fleet. Capable of carrying a 25-tonne payload over 2,000 nautical miles with the ability to land on short, unprepared landing strips, the aircraft will be used at the point of need in peace, crisis or conflict.

The RAF plans to introduce 22 A400M aircraft. The first aircraft introduction is scheduled for autumn this year.

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10 août 2014 7 10 /08 /août /2014 11:50
German A400 introduction takes shape

 

6 August -  EATC-   News & Press updates

 

The wings came from the United Kindom, fin and hull from Germany - and the cockpit was manufactured in France. Brought to Seville in Spain, where all aircraft parts are fixed together to one unit and where this video has been recorded: The first German A400M on the assembly line.

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10 août 2014 7 10 /08 /août /2014 11:50
From Havana to Termez - the German Airbus A310 Pax


16 July - EATC

 

The most used troop transporter in EATC service

 

A remarkable aircraft with a remarkable story: the Airbus A310 Pax, based at German Special Air MIssion Wing MoD (Cologne-Wahn), can state to be EATCs most used troop transporter. While the aircraft has reached nearly 25 years of military service and seen nearly every military spot on this planet, an end of its military service is still not in sight.

Starting as civil airliner within the German Democratic Republic's state airline "Interflug", the aircraft became state of the art in 1989, as it carried first passengers - nonstop - to Havana/Cuba or to other remote places in far East Asia.

But the German reunification changed everything... leaving every other GDR aircraft dismantled behind, while the Airbus A310 Pax improved its strategic missions inside the German Air Force until today.

Read the extraordinary story of the last flying GDR passenger aircraft - now and in future operating under EATC operational control - here at our aircraft chapter.

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18 juillet 2014 5 18 /07 /juillet /2014 16:50
All Royal Air Force MRTT enter service on schedule

 

Tuesday 15 July - Norbert Thomas - EATC

 

According to the official Royal Air Force news, the largest aircraft of the RAF air transport (AT) fleet, the Airbus A 330 MRTT “Voyager”, flew into Farnborough yesterday morning for the start of the International Farnborough Air Show - and with the British MoD confirming all nine aircraft have now been delivered to the RAF: on time and on budget.

Therewith the British Air Force contains the most modern - multirole - air transport fleet within Europe – although EATC is also about to replace some strategic AT-aircraft in the midterm future: Starting 2017 with assigned French and Spanish Airbus A330 (enhanced) MRTT.

EATC’s strategic fleet is actually composed of two Dutch KDC-10, five German A310 and A310 MRTT, two French A 340 and three A310, one Belgian Airbus A321 as well as three Spanish B 707 to be taken over under EATC operational command (OPCON) by the end of this year. Assuming Italy will join the EATC, the use of four KC-767A becomes a likely enhancement.  


After A400M Transfer of Authority (ToA)
EATC is right now more focusing on the tactical issue of its assigned fleet, as the reliable but also old Transall and Hercules face their end of duty in the upcoming years - while the first both French A400M have already faced the ToA from France towards EATC OPCON and now need to be introduced within the assigned tactical EATC fleet - in parallel contain their testing at the French Multinational Entry into Service Team (MEST).
After the first A400M have already been in mission abroad and taken part at several exercises, EATC’s functional division starts focusing on the next nations the aircraft is to be delivered to: first German A400M is planned to be handed over to the German Air Force this fall, the first Spanish aircraft will be delivered early 2016 under the SOC 2 (standard operational clearance) - to be able to fulfill enhanced tactical missions and additional performances. With the constant introduction of the A400M aircraft by then the tactical fleet of EATC will get dramatically younger.

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11 juillet 2014 5 11 /07 /juillet /2014 16:45
Transall starting for last time - Pictures Bundeswehr

Transall starting for last time - Pictures Bundeswehr

 

8 July - Norbert Thomas - News & Press updates / EATC

 

By the end of 30 June 2014, the German aircraft C-160 Transall were dissolved from the United Nations operational use at MINUSMA mission.

 

Consequently on 03 July, technicians and pilots went on their trip home – with their three C-160 Transall arriving at their home bases the day after. Now the aircraft returned also back to EATC operational control: one year ago the EATC had given the operational authority back to the nation, thus allowing a more precise use by the tactical mission leader in the theatre abroad.

 

For the time being the use of the German C-160 Transall came to an end, although they can be ordered back to their logistic hub in Dakar within 72 hours. A return of the machines in the field of use may be requested by the UN at any time - although this is only to be expected when the military situations changes importantly: After an evaluation of the use of forces in MINUSMA, the United Nations had announced in recent weeks that there was - so far - no further need for the use of the German C-160 Transall.

 

Since the start of the assignment under the mandate of the United Nations on 01 July 2013, the German soldiers operated 1.050 flying hours, carried 4.500 passengers and approximately 520 tons of material to and from Mali in more than 470 support flights.

Last Transalls at Dakar

Last Transalls at Dakar

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10 juillet 2014 4 10 /07 /juillet /2014 07:50
Le général Pascal Chiffoleau et le général Pascal Valentin

Le général Pascal Chiffoleau et le général Pascal Valentin

 

09/07/2014 Armée de l'air

 

Jeudi 3 juillet 2014, à Eindhoven (Pays-Bas), le général Pascal Valentin a transmis le commandement de l’EATC (European Air Transport Command - commandement européen du transport aérien militaire) au Major-General allemand Christian Badia.

 

Depuis 2012, le général Pascal Valentin commandait l’EATC. Il a contribué à l’adhésion du Luxembourg en décembre 2012 et à la déclaration officielle de la «pleine capacité opérationnelle» de l’organisation, le 28 novembre 2013. Le général Pascal Chiffoleau devient le commandant en second de l’organisation européenne. Il commandait la brigade aérienne d’appui et de projection au commandement des forces aériennes depuis 2012.

 

Le même jour, l'Espagne est devenue le sixième membre de l’EATC. Sous la présidence du commandant de la composante Air belge, le général Van De Voorde, et en présence des autorités ibériques, l’accord entérinant l'adhésion officielle de l’Espagne à l'EATC a été signé. Cette contribution permet de mettre à disposition de l'EATC une partie de sa flotte d’avions de transport, constituée de Boeing 707, C-130 Hercules, Casa C-212, C-295 ou autres CN-235.

 

L’EATC, un partenariat européen soudé pour le transport aérien militaire

 

Le commandement européen a été inauguré en septembre 2010 sur la base d’Eindhoven, par l’Allemagne, la Belgique, la France et les Pays-Bas, dans le but de coordonner et d’optimiser l’utilisation des flottes de transport pour le compte des pays partenaires. Ce «concept unique et innovant», selon le général Pascal Valentin, permet de mettre en commun des moyens aériens, dont l’emploi «est optimisé par l’EATC pour effectuer le maximum de missions» dans le cadre du transport de passagers et de matériels, d’évacuations aéro-sanitaires sur le territoire européen mais également en opérations. Depuis sa création, l’EATC a démontré toute l’étendue de sa plus-value, en participant notamment à l’opération Serval au Mali en janvier 2013.

 

Les représentants de l'EATC à Eindhoven aux Pays-Bas

Les représentants de l'EATC à Eindhoven aux Pays-Bas

Le général Pascal Valentin remet le drapeau

Le général Pascal Valentin remet le drapeau

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7 juillet 2014 1 07 /07 /juillet /2014 16:50
Le lieutenant-général aviateur Van de Voorde et son successeur néerlandais, le lieutenant-général Alexander Schnitger.

Le lieutenant-général aviateur Van de Voorde et son successeur néerlandais, le lieutenant-général Alexander Schnitger.

 

04/07/2014 Composante Air

 

Le lieutenant-général aviateur Claude Van de Voorde, chef de la Composante Air belge, a remis les rennes de la plus haute instance dirigeante du transport aérien européen à son homologue néerlandais, le lieutenant-général aviateur Alexander Schnitger. Le général Van de Voorde quitte ainsi le poste de président qu’il a occupé pendant deux ans.

 

Le Multinational Air Transport Committee rassemble les chefs des forces aériennes des pays membres de l’EATC (European Air Transport Command). L’EATC est l’unique quartier général militaire européen pour le transport aérien, le ravitaillement aérien et les évacuations médicalisées aériennes. Son centre névralgique se situe à Eindhoven (Pays-Bas) et dispose des avions de transport allemands, belges, français, luxembourgeois et néerlandais. Le comité de gestion présidé par le général Van de Voorde dirige l’EATC. Hier, l’adhésion de l’Espagne à l’EATC a été le dernier fait marquant de la présidence belge.

 

La collaboration internationale au sein de l’EATC est une réelle opération win-win, pour notre pays. La Composante Air belge s’engage solidement dans cette structure. Tous les avions de transport C-130 Hercules du 15 Wing de Transport aérien basé à Melsbroek, ainsi que le nouvel Airbus A321 et les autres appareils VIP (Falcon 90, Falcon 20, Embraer ERI 135 et 145) sont sous commandement opérationnel de l’EATC. D’autre part, notre pays a accès aux autres appareils des pays membres. Avec une flotte de quelque 180 avions, l’EATC redéfinit le transport aérien militaire en Europe et demeure un bel exemple de mutualisation et de partage (pooling & sharing).

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5 juillet 2014 6 05 /07 /juillet /2014 11:50
Spanish assets to join EATC assigned fleet

Spanish assets to join EATC assigned fleet

 

3 July – Norbert Thomas – EATC

 

Spain is now officially the sixth member state of the EATC. It was up to the Spanish Air Chief, General del Aire Javier García Arnaiz, to subscribe the official document within the MATraC meeting at Eindhoven Air Base. The Multinational Air Transport Committee represents all EATC Participating Nation’s Air Chiefs, welcoming officially the new participant Spain right before the EATCs Change of Command ceremony, where the EATC command  went over from French Major General Pascal Valentin to German Major General Christian Badia.


Six nations - one command
Spains accession will enhance EATCs assigned fleet especially with tactical AT-aircraft and air-to-air refuelling (AAR) capabilities. The same time Spain gets access to more than a dozen aircraft types of the other EATC Participating Nations. More than this, Spain now officially incorporates the EATC as additional Air Transport Command, becoming part of the Spanish chain of command – although this new command is abroad.  
184 posts count for the EATC currently, while it grew up from about 170 posts while achieving Final Operational Capability (FOC) last year. The increase is because of Spains accession to the EATC – while the same time the amount of other nation’s posts decreased to allow Spain manning 30 posts within EATC premises.

 

Transfer of Authority in sight
Now it is up to Spain to introduce EATCs workflow into its own national home bases, from where - so far national acting - Spanish aircraft will soon take over multinational EATC prepared missions. This will take some effort: e.g. will all future air transport planning now be settled around EATCs MEAT software, which allows EATC to monitor any important aircraft figures within the national Spanish home bases – but essential to have an immediate access to information about aircraft and crews available. EATC and the Spanish Air Force appointed the transfer of authority over the additional Spanish aircraft latest by the end of this year, giving Spanish comrades enough time to cope with the EATC procedures. The Spanish enhancement contains aircraft of    
a.)    the 31st Wing in Zaragoza, comprising seven C-130 Hercules  (Tactical Air Transport) and 5 KC-130 Hercules (Tanker),
b.)    the 35th Wing in Getafe with its 13 CASA C-295 (Tactical Air Transport) and
c.)    the  47th Group at Torrejon by using its three Boeing 707 (Tanker, Strategic Air Transport).
This new development foreseen, one can easy see that - with the Transfer of Authority (ToA) of the Spanish aircraft by the end of this year - the EATC reshapes the military air transport world in Europe: its assigned national airbases operate from the Baltic Sea in the North and touch Africa in its South - nearly 180 aircraft to mirror a remarkable fleet.

 

Spanish Airchief amongst

Air Chiefs at the ceremony (from the left: General Van de Voorde (BEL), General Arnaiz (ESP), General Müllner (DEU), General Soullet (FRA)

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4 juillet 2014 5 04 /07 /juillet /2014 16:55
Sharing capabilities to enhance military operations

 

2 July - Norbert Thomas – EATC

 

EATC assigns personell to RAMCC Lyon

 

Beginning next week, the RAMCC at Lyon (Regional Air Movement Coordination Centre) - dealing with the coordination and tasking of the intra-theatre airlift operations for Serval and Sangaris - works in even more close relationship to the EATC, preparing both missions with air transport assets from Europe to Afrika and back: To advice and assist command structures in air transport matters, EATC has begun to install a shift-system with own personell, catching up duty when- and wherever assistance becomes necessary. Starting next Monday, first French AT-specialists of the EATC will join the multinational RAMCC to start the cooperation. After the first two officers have settled the environment, the air transport cell will constantly be manned with EATC personell deployed from Eindhoven Air Base. To balance all EATC Participating Nations efforts equally, each nation contributes one contingent per month. With Spain joining in July as sixth EATC Participating Nation, the reinforcement for the RAMCC is therewith settled until the end of the year.

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4 juillet 2014 5 04 /07 /juillet /2014 16:50
Pictures: EATC PAO

Pictures: EATC PAO

 

3 July - Norbert Thomas - EATC

 

Successful steps of the European Air Transport Commands (EATC) have been done in the past: more will follow. The Change of Command ceremony today at Eindhoven Air Base featured the handover of EATC Command from French Major General Pascal Valentin to German Major General Christian Badia - taken place under the lead of the Dutch Air Force Commander, Lieutenant General Alexander Schnitger, Chairman of the Multinational Air Transport Committee (MATraC). 

 

A serial of changes

Before taking over the command, General Badia was Head of Division Strategic Defence Planning & Concepts at the German MoD. General Valentin instead will now focus on his new assignment, leading the NATO school in Rome.

General Valentin looks back on two busy years with a lot of challenges to cope with: The A400M introduction, reaching Final Operational Capability last year, achieving the accession of Luxembourg and Spain, which at last was finalized on the same day he left the EATC. Few days before he could promulgate the first A400M flying under EATC operational control.

The same date, but not in the limelight of the ceremony, also the Chief of Staff’s post is newly manned. German Brigadier General Jörg Lebert handed over to French Brigadier General Pascal Chiffoleau, former Commander of Air Mobility Brigade at Dijon AFB. Both positions either of Commander and Chief of Staff rotate as planned every two years between Germany and France.

 

New flag at EATC

 

More important decisions had been taken within the MATraC meeting in the morning, representing all EATC Participating Nations Air Chiefs: The lead of this highest circle in European military AT- matters went over from Belgian Lieutenant General Claude Van der Voorde to Dutch Lieutenant General Alexander Schnitger. For the next two years it is now his turn to monitor EATCs steps to reshape and improve the military AT-world within Europe. Although the Dutch Air Chief had a good start… facing only few hours before the accession of Spain to the EATC.

 

A rising giant

With the additional aircraft of Spain, intended to transfer authority latest by the end of the year, EATC will conduct more than 180 aircraft, operating from bases between the Baltic Sea and Gibraltar. But although this “rising giant called EATC” is a successfull lighthouse project in Pooling and Sharing, the new Commander knows, that nothing comes for free, facing e.g. the implementation of two Air Forces AT-fleets (Spain and upcoming Italy) into EATC structures: “With resources decreasing, demands rising, aging fleets and delays in the fielding of our new A400M we have to find better - and for sure sometimes new - ways in order to fulfil our commitments. All that counts at the end of the day is the added value that EATC can provide for each Participating Nation.”

 

Gallery EATC Change of Command Ceremony

 

EATC has a new Commander
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2 juillet 2014 3 02 /07 /juillet /2014 07:50
A sortie with the Czech Air Force

 

Friday 20 June - Pascal Ballinger-  News & Press updates / EATC

 

The EATT, an EDA initiative with strong support from EATC, is currently the only European live flying training event exclusively dedicated to train the air- and ground crews of tactical transport aircrafts. 19 crews out of 10 nations have flown in from their homebases and today we have had the opportunity to follow the Czech crew during their first daily mission.

 

05.40Z: Briefing

Today’s mission consists of two paratrooper drops on static line. The first jump is foreseen at the so called AFRICA Drop zone (DZ) and the second at GOLD DZ.

Due to increased Ground-to-Air Threat; 5 to 10 SA-6 and SA-8 have disappeared from local warehouses; all the approaches have to be done in tactical low level flight.

 

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1 juillet 2014 2 01 /07 /juillet /2014 17:52
Pictures: Pascal Ballinger, Martin Gesenhoff

Pictures: Pascal Ballinger, Martin Gesenhoff

 

27 June - Pascal Ballinger - News & Press updates / EATC

 

During the last two weeks, as of 25 June, more than 90 missions have been flown and more than 140 flying hours have been performed. Some 34 tons of cargo and nearly 100 paratroopers have been dropped.

 

Whilst one and a half week ago the tactical scenario started with simple familiarization and recognition flights, allowing the participants to get familiar with the exercise terrain, the complexity of the mission evolved to multi-ship formations and more challenging sorties.

 

The mission of the last day was a COMAO, a composite air operation.

 

A COMAO is an operation, limited in both time and space, where assets differing in type and/or role are put under the control of a single commander to achieve a common, specific objective.

 

Integrating a tactical transport aircraft into a COMAO is complicated, especially due to the lack of aircrews’ training and the limited speed and manoeuvers ability of the tactical transport aircraft. This implies that the backbone of a successful COMAO is coordination.

 

EATT14’s COMAO put together 9 tactical transport aircrafts of 9 different nations. Five C-130, 2 CASA CN-295 and 2 C-27J. Moreover two Greek F-16 and a Greek EMB-145H AEW&C participated in the exercise. Bulgarian Mig-29, SA-6 and SA-8 played the threat.

 

The primary objective was a massive personnel and material air drop at drop zone “Gold”, followed by a second air drop on DZ “Africa”. Before entering in the threat area, the tactical air transport aircraft (TAT) waited at a hold on position, while above the F-16, dedicated to the protection of the TAT cleaned the area to prevent air to air threat played by the MIG 29. All these manoeuvers have been coordinated by AEW orbiting 200 km south in a safety area. Moreover the AEW constantly provided the position of the MIG 29 to the TAT and the F-16.

 

To avoid the threat, the COMEO participants, the so-called package, flew at a very low level.

 

When a TAT was committed by the MIG-29, the concerned aircraft reacted and had to leave the transport flow. With AEW information, the F-16 could commit on the MIG aggressor and the engaged TAT could rejoin the flow in order to continue its mission.

 

Approaching the DZ, the transport aircraft reduced their speed, climbed in order to be able to perform the material and personnel air drop.

 

On the DZ, a Dutch pathfinder unit acting as Combat Control Team had put ground markings to authenticate and guide the aircrews.

 

Above, the F-16 continued to protect the package during the drop phase. Given that the TAT had to fly at that moment at lower speed and at a higher flight level, this phase was particularly critical. 

 

After having performed the drop, the TAT accelerated and descended again to the safer low flight level.

 

After the second drop the package back to Plovdiv where they performed a tactical approach before landing.

 

This very impressive last mission closes EATT14, but the next challenge is already on the RADAR – in September 2014, for the first time, the EAATTC – the European Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Course will take place in Zaragoza (Spain).

 

Find more views about EATT at EATT 2014 picture gallery

Pictures: Pascal Ballinger, Martin Gesenhoff
Pictures: Pascal Ballinger, Martin GesenhoffPictures: Pascal Ballinger, Martin Gesenhoff

Pictures: Pascal Ballinger, Martin Gesenhoff

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1 juillet 2014 2 01 /07 /juillet /2014 17:50
C160 Transall aux couleurs des 70 ans de l’ET 1-64 Béarn - photo Armée de l'Air

C160 Transall aux couleurs des 70 ans de l’ET 1-64 Béarn - photo Armée de l'Air

 

Tuesday 1 July - Norbert Thomas  News & Press updates / EATC

 

For the occasion of their each 70th anniversary and combined with aeronautical presentations, French Béarn and Anjou Squadrons invited the public to join their festivities at Evreux Air Force Base: base simulator sessions and static displays, specially decorated C-160 Transall flying with the colors of the two transport squadrons, a visit to the museum, etc…

The spectators watched flying displays of historic aircraft of both squadrons, including the last “Noratlas” - still airworthy - but also Junker Ju-52 and DC-3 Dakota. Not to forget the C-160 who performed various missions such as parachuting, assault and SpecOps demonstrations.

 

Find more about the open day (French language)

 

Short desciption of Anjou to be found here, Bearn description to be found here.

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1 juillet 2014 2 01 /07 /juillet /2014 17:50
EATT14 clip from Bulgarian MOD film team

 

30 June – EATC -   News & Press updates

 

The Bulgarian Ministry of Defence film team followed the participants of EATT14 during their daily missions and interviewed the Commander of the Bulgarian Air Force, the Deputy Exercise Director and the Chief Maintenance.

 

Find the Bulgarian MOD EATT Clip.

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27 juin 2014 5 27 /06 /juin /2014 07:50
Pictures: J. Fechter (Armee de l'air) / Thomas Paudeleux (Air Base Cazaux)

Pictures: J. Fechter (Armee de l'air) / Thomas Paudeleux (Air Base Cazaux)

 

26 June Norbert Thomas- News & Press updates / EATC

 

On 21 June 2014 EATC planned, tasked and controlled its first A400M operation (OPCON).

The asset, which is still under the authority of the French Air Force Military Experimentation and Trials Command (CEAM/ Centre d’Expériences Aériennes Militaires) and being run by the MEST (Multinational Entry into Service Team) picked up VIPs in Villacoublay and brought them to Cazaux Air Force Base – yet indeed a symbolic first mission aside the celebrations of the 80th anniversary of the French Air Force. Only few hours later the aircraft took part at a rehearsal for the upcoming French National Holiday – again on EATC OPCON.

 

Only a testing phase - but a special one

 

Missions with the Atlas on EATC OPCON will be assigned on a case by case basis.

Both French Atlas aircraft are currently and still in their trial at the French MEST – a testing facility for the French forces near Orleans: As part of their testing procedures the MEST is in part depending on “normal” air transport operations. But since the mass of the French national air transport operations and assets are being conducted under EATC OPCON, it was quite consequent to ask EATC for adequate missions.

Also for the EATC this is not a routine, but a sort of trial period - definitely not a conventional military service yet: For both facilities a win-win situation arose, because the EATC in return can already plan well ahead of schedule with a new aircraft type, creating and carrying out corresponding missions to train its personell and improve its own system.

 

Find more about EATC in A400M matters.

First A400M mission under operational control
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27 juin 2014 5 27 /06 /juin /2014 07:50
Picture: Pascal Ballinger, Martin Gesenhoff

Picture: Pascal Ballinger, Martin Gesenhoff

 

26 June – European Defence Agency- News & Press updates / EATC

 

A Distinguished Visitors (DV) Day is being held today as part of the European Air Transport Training (EATT14) in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The two-week event, coordinated by the European Defence Agency (EDA) in close cooperation with hosts Bulgaria and the European Air Transport Command (EATC), aims to increase interoperability in the air transport area.

 

EATT14 takes place between 15 - 27 June and is the only European multinational air transport training of its kind. It brings together 460+ participants, 19 crews, and 10 transport aircraft from 10 different countries.

 

EATT14: results so far

 

As of 24 June, more than 80 missions have taken place with over 130 flying hours. 100 paratroopers have been dropped alongside more the 32,000 KGs of cargo. The training objectives have been tailored to the needs of the different participating countries, with the missions developing on an increasing complexity basis.  Training objectives include airdrops, low level flying, and night operations – with around 10 hours of night flights having already taken place. The overall objective of the training is to achieve a far reaching level of interoperability between tactical airlift users in the area of operations and training.

 

Challenging Conditions

 

The first week of training was disrupted by severe weather conditions, which made flying conditions difficult and which caused serious and even fatal flooding in other areas of Bulgaria. Laurent Donnet, the Deputy Director of the Exercise, commented: "The flying conditions in the first week presented significant challenges for training, I would like to thank the Bulgarian authorities for the flexibility and support they have provided under these circumstances. However, in operations we need to be able to react to challenging conditions and we need to be able to do so together, that is why training events like this are so important. It allows us to pool resources and share knowledge, meaning ultimately that we can work more effecitvely and more efficiently together.”

 

Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain, and Norway have all sent transport aircraft, with Bulgaria and Greece supporting the event with fighters and a Greek AEW&C aircraft. As well as the participating countries, observers from Austria, Finland, Hungary, Portugal, Sweden, UK, USA, and the Heavy Airlift Wing based in Hungary also followed the training, with some of them indicating their intention of joining the exercise next year.

 

Background

 

The exercise takes places within the framework of the European Air Transport Fleet (EATF) partnership, which has been signed by 20 European countries in 2011. It aims 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 is just one event held within the EATF framework, it runs alongside an annual symposium - held in Athens this year - and the European Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Course (EAATTC), which will take place in Zaragoza for the first time in September 2014.

 

Find more views about EATT at our EATT 2014 picture gallery.

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26 juin 2014 4 26 /06 /juin /2014 16:50
European Air Transport Training delivers first results
 
Plovdiv, Bulgaria - 26 June, 2014 European Defence Agency
 

A Distinguished Visitors (DV) Day is being held today as part of the European Air Transport Training (EATT14) in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The two-week event, coordinated by the European Defence Agency (EDA) in close cooperation with hosts Bulgaria and the European Air Transport Command (EATC), aims to increase interoperability in the air transport area.

EATT14 takes place between 15 - 27 June and is the only European multinational air transport training of its kind. It brings together 460+ participants, 19 crews, and 10 transport aircraft from 10 different countries. 

 

EATT14: results so far

As of 24 June, more than 80 missions have taken place with over 130 flying hours. 100 paratroopers have been dropped alongside more the 32,000 KGs of cargo. The training objectives have been tailored to the needs of the different participating countries, with the missions developing on an increasing complexity basis.  Training objectives include airdrops, low level flying, and night operations – with around 10 hours of night flights having already taken place. The overall objective of the training is to achieve a far reaching level of interoperability between tactical airlift users in the area of operations and training.

 

Challenging Conditions

The first week of training was disrupted by severe weather conditions, which made flying conditions difficult and which caused serious and even fatal flooding in other areas of Bulgaria. Laurent Donnet, the Deputy Director of the Exercise, commented: "The flying conditions in the first week presented significant challenges for training, I would like to thank the Bulgarian authorities for the flexibility and support they have provided under these circumstances. However, in operations we need to be able to react to challenging conditions and we need to be able to do so together, that is why training events like this are so important. It allows us to pool resources and share knowledge, meaning ultimately that we can work more effecitvely and more efficiently together.”

Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Spain, and Norway have all sent transport aircraft, with Bulgaria and Greece supporting the event with fighters and a Greek AEW&C aircraft. As well as the participating countries, observers from Austria, Finland, Hungary, Portugal, Sweden, UK, USA, and the Heavy Airlift Wing based in Hungary also followed the training, with some of them indicating their intention of joining the exercise next year.

 

Background

The exercise takes places within the framework of the European Air Transport Fleet (EATF) partnership, which has been signed by 20 European countries in 2011. It aims 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 is just one event held within the EATF framework, it runs alongside an annual symposium - held in Athens this year - and the European Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Course (EAATTC), which will take place in Zaragoza for the first time in September 2014. 
 

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26 juin 2014 4 26 /06 /juin /2014 11:50
Première mission de l’A400M coordonnées par l’EATC

 

26/06/2014 Armée de l'air

 

Le 21 juin 2014, l’A400M a réalisé une première mission sous contrôle opérationnel de l’EATC.

 

C’est une mission hautement symbolique qui s’est déroulée le 21 juin 2014. Le commandement européen du transport aérien (EATC- European air transport command) a planifié et réalisé pour la première fois une mission mettant en œuvre un A400M Atlas. Le moyen reste sous autorité du centre d’expérience aérienne militaire (CEAM) et est mis à disposition de l’EATC au cas par cas. Pour la célébration des 80 ans de l’armée de l’air à Cazaux, plusieurs autorités ont été embarquées à bord de l’A400M à Villacoublay afin d’être conduite jusqu’à Cazaux. Cette mission est une première et marque une future coopération serrée entre l'EATC et l’A400M.

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26 juin 2014 4 26 /06 /juin /2014 07:50
EATT14: Final week begins in Plovdiv

 

25.06.2014 European Defence Agency
 

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.

 

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25 juin 2014 3 25 /06 /juin /2014 07:50
Maintenance Pooling & Sharing initiatives at a glance - EATT14

Pictures: Pascal Ballinger, Martin Gesenhoff

 

21 June - Pascal Ballinger -  News & Press updates / EATC

 

In order to be able to make EATT14 run, the different responsibilities have been split into different cells or panels, every cell being responsible for a specific domain, a.e. exercise director, operations, training supervisor, flight safety, maintenance, intelligence, media & communication, computer and information system, ...

 

At the head of every panel a panel chief is responsible for the organization and the execution of the missions of his group of people.

 

Most of the panel chiefs come out of the EATC, what underlines the strong involvement of the EATC in EATT14 and what makes it easy to spread the EATC spirit and message amongst the participants of the exercise.

 

This is particularly visible in the Maintenance Cell where Maj Pierre Lambert puts a particular importance on Pooling and Sharing (P&S) and interoperability between nations. All these objectives are also in the scope of the EATC.

 

Maintenance Operation Center

 

The neuralgic spot of EATT’s maintenance is the so called MOC, the Maintenance Operation Center. Here, maintenance representatives out of all the participating nations and supplemental host nation representatives coordinate, under the lead of the experts from the EATC, all the maintenance activities, including cross-servicing, cross-maintenance, exchange of ground support equipment and spare parts.

 

Cross-servicing

 

Cross-servicing is the execution of services by the maintenance team of one nation on an aircraft of a second nation. The aim of cross-servicing is to improve multinational cooperation in order to increase interoperability and efficiency. During EATT14, this concept, based on STANAG 3430 (Responsibilities for Aircraft Cross Servicing) and STANAG 3812 (Responsiblities for Aircraft Cross Servicing Ground Crew Training), is trained by embedding one to two mechanics of a first nation into the maintenance organisation of the second nation. This trainee is, for the rest of the exercise, executing an “on the job training” (OJT) with his foreign colleagues. This OJT consists of marshalling the aircraft for arrival or departure, fitting or removing the safety pins, connecting the ground support equipment or even refuelling the aircraft.

 

After the successful completion of this training, a certificate of attendance is handed out to the trainee.

 

Exchange of GSE

 

Another initiative to improve multinational cooperation is the constitution of a common pool of ground support equipment (GSE).

 

As some of the nations use aircrafts of the same type (a.e. Italy, Norway, Belgium and France all use C-130), the constitution of a common pool of GSE permits to a nation not to ship all the necessary equipment to Plovdiv. So one nation brings the ladder, while another nation takes care of the ground power unit and the third nation is responsible for the maintenance kit or the tow bar.

 

This initiative also increases the interoperability between the nations and permits economies of scale because the logistics footprint of every participating nation is slightly reduced.

 

Exchange of spare parts

 

The exchange of spare parts is quite similar to the exchange of GSE.

 

What sounds simple in theory is in fact very complicated in practice.

 

Due to the actual airworthiness requirements, one nation is not necessarily allowed to use a spare part from another nation. This is due to the fact that every single spare part has to be certified as original by a qualified maintenance authority.

 

Amongst the EATC nations, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany already exchange parts together with eight other nations through the Mutual Emergency Supply Support (MESS) procedure based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) initiated by the former NATO EUROLOG Air Sub Group and signed in 1984.

 

Together with the EDA, EATC identified possibilities to exchange spare parts of aircrafts and in order to develop an agreement based on MESS, EATC drafted a document for the new Mutual Logistic Support (MLS) project which will be discussed by the participating member states during the next months.

 

The possibility to exchange spare parts between EATC Partner Nations, but also with other countries will improve the availability of spare parts and reduce the risk for an aircraft being stuck on the ground because of parts availability issues.

 

This will also improve the availability of the EATC fleet and its operational readiness.

 

Cross-maintenance

 

Cross-maintenance is the execution of maintenance tasks by a technician from one nation on an aircraft of another nation.

 

During EATT14, under the supervision of a mechanics of the nation the aircraft belongs to, a mechanics from another nation can execute some basic maintenance tasks on that foreign plane. To stick to the actual Airworthiness rules, the supervisor of the nation the aircraft belongs to has still to certify the correct execution of that task.

 

Thanks to the promulgation of the A400M Common Ground Crew Training Concept that procedure shall change. The first version of the Ground Crew Training Concept will be the guideline to implement and fine-tune new training concepts which shall lead to a complete interchangeability of the mechanics between the EATC Participation Nations.

 

All these initiatives from the maintenance panel – be it cross-servicing or cross-maintenance, exchange of GSE or exchange of spare parts make that the European Air Transport Command can be seen as a very successful example of international cooperation.

 

Find more views about EATT at our EATT 2014 picture gallery.

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24 juin 2014 2 24 /06 /juin /2014 18:50
Pictures: Pascal Ballinger, Martin Gesenhoff

Pictures: Pascal Ballinger, Martin Gesenhoff

 

23 June - Pascal Ballinger -News & Press updates / EATC

 

As already mentioned, the EATT, an EDA initiative with strong support from EATC, is currently the only European live flying training event exclusively dedicated to train tactical transport aircraft crews.

 

The urgent need to develop an advanced multinational tactical training capability in Europe is clearly identified by the different participating nations – and as the EATT provides an adequate and flexible framework to train air transport crews and fulfills nations’ requirements and objectives, more and more nations get interested in that kind of training.

 

This explains why this morning observers from the United States, Hungary, Greece and Sweden joined the observers from Finland, Portugal, Romania and UK, already present during the last week.

 

The observers can join all the meetings and preparations for the missions and are allowed to join the crews in the cockpit or in the cargo compartment during the sorties. They report their impressions directly to their national HQ and can be considered as a first step of a nation to show their interest in EATT.

 

Whilst last year in Zaragoza 350 participants from 8 nations participated in EATT13 – this year more than 460 persons from 10 nations are actually in Plovdiv for EATT14.

 

Find more views about EATT at our EATT 2014 picture gallery.

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24 juin 2014 2 24 /06 /juin /2014 18:50
A400M Picture J. Brunet

A400M Picture J. Brunet

 

18 June - Norbert Thomas - News & Press updates / EATC

 

In close cooperation with national subject matter experts, EATC promulgates today the finalisation of the A400M Common Ground Crew Training Concept - completed successfully by the EATC lead A400M Ground Crew Training Syndicate.

 

Being also in line with the Technical Arrangement covering bilateral A400M training cooperation signed by France and Germany on 30th September 2013, the new document aims at harmonizing Ground Crew Training amongst EATC A400M user nations – which are by the way in part not (yet) EATC Participating Nations.

 

This first version of the Ground Crew Training Concept will be the guideline to implement and fine-tune processes between the relevant stakeholders. As the entry into service of A400M is still ongoing, the EATC staff keeps track on the developments and plans for a first revision of this document in one year.

 

Find out more about EATC involvement in A400M matters.

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24 juin 2014 2 24 /06 /juin /2014 17:50
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