The JAPCC Rotary Wing Focus Group (RWFG)
Rotary wing assets are widely used by all services among the Alliances’ militaries and have always represented very critical capabilities in NATO-led operations. In order to best assess the current situation, recommend a way ahead, and monitor progress in the development of these capabilities, the JAPCC has established an internal working body called the Rotary Wing Focus Group (RWFG). The RWFG is to increase awareness and coordination among the assigned Rotary Wing Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and their branch heads, in order to improve the quality of their work through a well-defined working method.
Today the RWFG counts five JAPCC SMEs with varying backgrounds from four different nations. They are spread over the Air Operation Support and Combat Air branches within the JAPCC. The RWFG also reaches out to other experts, either within the JAPCC or in Allied Air Command, Combined Air Operations Command Uedem or the German Air Operations Command Kalkar in order to support the development of specific projects or the organization of specific events. Due to the inherent process of consensus making, this working method significantly increases JAPCC credibility within the larger community of helicopter users.
Much as in the JAPCC itself, the projects and objectives managed by the RWFG range from the very tangible to the very conceptual. Examples of the former are the contribution to the development of ATP-49 ‘Use of Helicopters in Land Operations’ and ATP-90 ‘Operational Competencies for Helicopter Crews in Support of NATO-led Land Operations and Exercises’ within the Helicopter Inter Service Working Group (HISWG) and of a Helicopter Under-Slung Load compatibility matrix. Examples of the latter are the development of a white paper on the ‘Future Battlefield Rotorcraft Capability’ in parallel to the contribution to the NATO Army Armament Group / Joint Capability Group Vertical Lift / Next Generation Rotorcraft Capability Team of Experts of which the JAPCC has vice-chairmanship.
The JAPCC RWFG may be contacted via the functional group email box RWFG[at]japcc[dot]org.