EAATTC 16-2: Multinational Training – Multi-organizational Effort
Orlèans, France, 1 June 2016. From 18 May through 3 June, flight crews from France, Germany and Spain underwent formation tactical airlift training at Orlèans-Bricy Air Base, France. Initiated by the European Defence Agency (EDA) and run by the European Air Transport Command (EATC) under the umbrella of the European Air Transport Fleet (EATF), the European Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Course (EAATTC) is a European answer to the lack of advanced airlift training in Europe. The JAPCC filled the Supervisor of Flight (SOF) position in an answer to a request for support from EDA for a neutral advisor on safety and operational risk management. Taking on the task of being the Host Nation, France provided the course’s training facility and many support personnel from the French Centre for Instruction of Transport Crews (CIET).
EAATTC was developed based on the Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Center’s (AATTC) taught at the US Air National Guard’s 139th Airlift Wing, which trains crews from the USA and several other nations. However, the EAATTC 16-2’s Training Supervisor, Lt Col Phillip Kellerman of EATC, said, “It is important for Europeans to have supplementary courses dedicated to the European training environment which cover objectives not offered at the US course.” EAATTC 16-2’s objectives include multi-ship day and night flying in a simulated combat environment. Each crew’s eight 2-ship formations were preceded by computer-based academics and one day of instructor-led tactical flying academics. Under the guidance of tactical instructor pilots from France, Germany, Spain, and Portugal the crews plan and fly 2-ship formations and perform both lead and wingman duties while executing airdrops, tactical arrivals and departures and engaging with fighter and AWACS aircraft. Mixed formations including C-160 (1xDEU, 1xFRA), C-130 (1xESP, 1xFRA) and C-325 (2xFRA) aircraft provide an extra level of challenges for the crews and are part of an overall European effort to increase interoperability. Kellerman said he hopes “crews will take home the message that International crews should not be hesitant about working together.” He emphasized the course not only increases crew capabilities but “builds up trust and confidence between nations by increasing standardization and interoperability.”
The course’s command and control structure was comprised of members from the European Defence Agency (EDA), the European Air Transport Command (EATC), the Joint Air Power Competence Centre (JAPCC), and the Nations of France and Germany.