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8 septembre 2015 2 08 /09 /septembre /2015 16:50
Third helicopter tactics instructor course launched


Linton-on-Ouse, United Kingdom - 02 September, 2015 European Defence Agency


The third iteration of the prestigious Helicopter Tactics Instructor Course (HTIC) has just started at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, United Kingdom. The course aims to provide selected helicopter instructors with the tactical skills and knowledge to then deliver tactical training within their own organisations and throughout the Helicopter Exercise Programme events, such as Italian Blade exercise and Cold Blade exercise.


The 2015 HTIC is for the first time delivered under an EDA Category B programme, with its own approved programme arrangement signed in March 2015 by Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Additional EDA participating Member States have already shown interest in joining the programme in the near future.

The 2015 course is delivered by the EDA Chief Instructor, and a cadre of instructors from Sweden and the UK. 18 trainee instructors from Austria (OH-58), Sweden (UH-60 and NH-90) and the UK (CH-47) will be challenged to deliver high-end performances across the three main strands of the course, which will culminate in the planning and delivery of the complex Composite Air Operations (COMAO). 

The successful graduates will obtain Bronze or Silver HTI qualifications, corresponding to their experience and skill level. These qualifications are recognised by all the Member States involved in the helicopter programme. The instructors are expected to deliver courses themselves in the future, thus increasing their experience and competence. 33 more instructors from Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden and the UK have already graduated from the previous two courses held in 2013 and 2014.

The ground and simulator phase of HTIC runs until 18 September and starts with the theory, giving a comprehensive introduction to Electronic Warfare and its application for rotary platforms in a hostile environment. Next, it moves on to look at Evasion Training against a range of ground and air threats and the tactics applicable to rotary tasking in non-permissive environments. The theory is then put into practice in the EDA tactics trainers and, finally, the live flying phase, which will be delivered from 28 September to 17 October 2015 at Vidsel range, Sweden. 


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25 juin 2015 4 25 /06 /juin /2015 11:50
Italy hosts multinational helicopter exercise

Viterbo, Italy - 23 June, 2015 by European Defence Agency

More than 30 helicopters and 1000 military personnel have gathered 80 kilometers north of Rome for Italian Blade 2015, this year’s largest military rotary-wing exercise in Europe. Crews from seven different countries have started training together yesterday using joint procedures and tactics during missions of increasing complexity.

After three successful live-flying events hosted by Portugal from 2012 to 2014, the EDA-developed Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP) has moved to Italy this year. More than 1000 military personnel and 30 helicopters coming from seven nations are taking part in Italian Blade 2015. The exercise is delivered by the Italian Army Aviation in Viterbo, about 80 km north of Rome. 
During two weeks, helicopter crews as well as ground forces will take part in joint missions during which efforts will be made to maximise interoperability between all assets involved. They will fly and operate in conditions likely to be faced in future operations, while promoting cooperation in helicopter training through the integration of multinational elements in the air and on the ground.

Mentor team

A mentor team of six instructors from Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom will support multinational crews in the preparation and execution of complex missions. The team will be managed by an EDA Chief Instructor, serving officer of the UK Royal Air Force, who will ensure consistency of the output as well as proper exchange of lessons learned during other EDA-organised training events, namely the Helicopter Tactics Course (HTC) and the Helicopter Tactics Instructor Course (HTIC), which also contribute to increasing the overall availability of European military helicopters.

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7 août 2014 4 07 /08 /août /2014 12:50
Hot Blade 2014 meets all training objectives


31 July 2014 - European Defence Agency


Hot Blade 2014, the seventh helicopter exercise organised by the European Defence Agency, was formally closed on 30 July in Ovar airbase, Portugal. All training aims were met and the event was praised by senior national representatives.


At exercise close, a total of 827 hours had been flown on 362 aircraft sorties. Twenty-five helicopters from six different nations took part in Hot Blade 2014 from 16-30 July. “All training aims were met with the assistance of a small team of highly qualified tactics instructors coming from the sister HTIC programme”, Andy Gray, EDA Helicopters Programme Manager, points out.

The largest helicopter exercise organised this year in Europe, Hot Blade 2014 has allowed participating crews to qualify as COMAO (Combined Air Operations) lead and conduct joint and combined air assault missions (with Portuguese, German and Dutch ground troops operating together in mixed units), while at the same time providing individual training with nations qualifying their pilots in dust landings, night vision operations and fighter evasion.


Positive feedback.

Expressed in a “hot wash-up” meeting, the immediate feedback from the exercise was extremely positive. Senior national representatives confirmed that the experience of working together with other nations and practicing large-scale joint and combined missions just could not have been achieved by working alone. They agreed that these exercises are truly enhancing the helicopter capability within Europe.

“Over the last three years, the professionalism, enthusiasm and friendliness of our hosts has allowed the exercise to develop and grow”, adds Andy Gray, reflecting on Portugal’s major contribution to the success of EDA's Helicopter Exercise Programme. Next year’s event, called “Italian Blade”, will take place in June 2015 in Viterbo airbase, about 80 kilometres north of Rome.



The European Defence Agency’s efforts in the field of helicopter capabilities also include the Helicopters Tactics Course (HTC), the Helicopter Tactics Instructor Course (HTIC), the OELC (Operational English Language Course) and the Basic Helicopter Flying Training (BHFT) initiative.

The first EDA-supported multinational helicopter exercise took place in Gap (France) in March 2009. It has since been followed by six subsequent exercises of various scope and size, held in Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The Helicopter Exercise Programme arrangement has been signed by twelve Member States in November 2012 for a period of ten years. Future editions are expected to take place in Italy and Finland.


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