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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
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
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 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 17:50

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24 juin 2014 2 24 /06 /juin /2014 15:28
EATT14: Bulgarian Special Forces

 

24.06.2014 by European Defence Agency

 

Bulgarian paratroopers keeping their skills up to date as part in of European Air Transport Training 2014. Thanks to Bulgarian Special Forces 68th Division for the video.

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17 juin 2014 2 17 /06 /juin /2014 16:50
EATT catches up speed

 

17 June  Pascal Ballinger - EATC

 

In Plovdiv (Bulgaria) for the moment military out of 20 nations are just staring to the sky with the same question in mind: when will the rain stop?
This morning, Tuesday June 17, 2014 the 3rd EATT started with some academicals for air crews. While inside the meeting room the crews have been briefed on air operations and have got an update on the threat situation in the vicinity of Plovdiv Airbase - while outside it was just raining “cats and dogs”.
EATT 14 brings together more than 450 participants, 19 crews and 10 transport aircraft of five different types having flown in from ten different countries.
The aircraft and crews come from Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Spain and Norway. Luxembourg, the smallest EATC Participation Nation joins with one single pilot embedded inside the Belgian crew.
Observers are coming from Austria, Finland, Hungary, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, UK, and USA.
Greece is supporting the exercise with F-16 aircraft and one EMB-145H AEW&C.

 

Find EATT 2014 picture gallery here.

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