Air Transport Training, Exercises and Interoperability

By Lieutenant Colonel

By Lt Col

 Roberto

 Paviotti

, IT

 AF

Joint Air Power Competence Centre (2015-2019)

By Lieutenant Colonel

By Lt Col

 Giuseppe

 Canfora

, IT

 AF

Joint Air Power Competence Centre (2011-2015)

Published:
 November 2016
Warfare Domains: Air Operations

Introduction

‘If I had a wish list, it would be more ISR capability, more airlift or more rapid global mobility, particularly with respect to air-to-air refuelling. I encourage things that will give us better interoperability among equipment that we have.’1

General (ret.) Frank Gorenc, USAF

Air Transport (AT) allows a military to deploy, employ and redeploy forces and equipment quickly, sustain those forces, and support effective application of ­military effort. The speed and flexibility of airlift make it the preferred means of transport in support of many military and humanitarian operations.2

Objective

The objectives of Air Transport are contained in the preface of the Allied Tactical Publication (ATP) 3.3.4 Volume 1 as follows:

‘AT enables the global, regional, and local movement of personnel and materiel, both military and ­civilian. With acknowledged limitations in payload compared with other modes of transport, it is a fast and versatile way to deploy, sustain, and redeploy forces.’3

‘AT is a fundamental enabler of rapid movement of forces especially when ground threats or ­terrain features or conditions (weather or security) hamper freedom of movement. Due to its quick reaction, speed of execution, and global range, AT also ­offers the most effective means to enable and sustain the rapid, even decisive, projection of air power to distant theatres and remote locations.’4

‘AT operations range from the small-scale ­insertion of special forces to full-spectrum airborne operations, which enable concentration of combat power at high tempo. Moreover, a credible capability to conduct airborne operations will force an opponent to reserve and confine a number of forces in ­order to counter this potential threat to its vital assets. An airborne operation capability constitutes an important element of coercion, diversion and surprise.’5

‘AT is vital for aeromedical evacuation from austere locations. Where risks to life in combat are high, intra- and inter-theatre AT strongly underpin the moral component of fighting power; it is often the only way to get wounded soldiers to specialized medical support in time to administer life-saving treatment.’6

Aim and Scope

This AT Assessment is an analysis of the most current programmes for AT training, standardization and interoperability and examines the appropriate range of AT training, from initial to advanced, that the Nations are currently supporting collectively. This study provides a practical example of how to implement the Smart Defence and / or Pooling & Sharing concepts through common AT training initiatives ­under the NATO / EU umbrella which could fill existing gaps and serve as a cornerstone for NATO AT standardization and interoperability improvement while avoiding duplication of effort.

Although this study focuses on efforts within Europe, the findings and recommendations are applicable to the entire Alliance. The 2011 JAPCC AT study primarily analysed NATO’s current and future AT capability but did not highlight training, exercises, or interoperability.7 Also, the previous study looked at Air Transport solely from the NATO perspective. It did not go into detail on the important work the European Defence Agency (EDA) and European Air Transport Command (EATC) are doing to improve AT for their member nations and ultimately for the Alliance. For the purposes of this study, AT refers to both tactical and strategic fixed-wing AT but does not address the important role helicopters and tilt-rotor assets play in air logistics.8

Methodology

The information in the study was gathered at various NATO, EATC and EDA meetings and through national responses to a JAPCC questionnaire. This questionnaire was sent to the Air, Mobility and other relevant National Military staffs in the 28 NATO Member Nations. The questions covered a number of ­topics including AT training, exercises, and interoperability. (A copy of the questionnaire and a summary of the responses are provided in Annex B). Recommendations did not have to be proposed by more than one Nation to be considered noteworthy. Rather, they are included based on their merits and possible ­effects on future operations.

Defence News Interview: USAF Gen. Frank Gorenc by Aaron Mehta, http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/2015/03/10/interview-usaf-gen-frank-gorenc/24701435/
Definition reported in the Allied Tactical Publication (ATP) 3.3.4 Volume 1.
Ibid. 1.
Ibid. 1.
Ibid. 1.
Ibid. 1.
Aug. 2011 NATO Air Transport Capability study, p. 2.
Rotary Wing doctrine is partially managed by the MCLSB and it is a little bit more land oriented. To cover the role of helicopters and tilt-rotor assets play in air logistics would require a dedicated study.
Content Navigation
Author
Lieutenant Colonel
 Roberto
 Paviotti
Joint Air Power Competence Centre (2015-2019)

Lieutenant Colonel Roberto Paviotti joined the Italian Air Force Academy in August 1995, where he obtained a degree in Political Science. As of 2000, he was a Military Pilot starting at 61st Air Brigade in Galatina (Lecce) and later 46th Air Brigade, 50th Squadron (Air transport), in Pisa, where he became a C-130 Special Tactics Operative Instructor for Transport and obtained ‘Combat Readiness’ on the C130 aircraft. From 2003, his training was complemented with special skills e.g. airdrop, air-to-air refuelling (for fixed and rotary wings), night vision goggle flight, and assault operations. As a pilot, he was much involved in air support to missions abroad in Kosovo 2002, Afghanistan 2002-2014, Iraq 2003-2007, Lebanon 2006, and Libya 2011. Furthermore, he participated in multinational joint exercises including Special Forces. Since Sep 2015, he serves as in the JAPCC as Subject Matter Expert for Air Transport.

Information provided is current as of January 2017
Author
Lieutenant Colonel
 Giuseppe
 Canfora
Joint Air Power Competence Centre (2011-2015)
Author
Major
 Victoria
 Thomas
Joint Air Power Competence Centre (2015-2019)

Major Victoria (Tori) Thomas (USA AF) is an Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) and Air Transport (AT) Subject Matter Expert (SME) assigned to NATO’s Joint Air Power Competence Centre in Kalkar, Germany. Drawing from experience gained during three operational assignments and six combat deployments in USAF C-130H and C-17A aircraft, she is committed to collaboration that identifies and addresses mobility shortfalls while decreasing multiplication of effort. Major Thomas is a co-chair of NATO’s Air Refuelling Working Group, a member the Global Air-to-Air Refuelling Strategy (GAS) Team and an instructor at NATO’s Specialized Heavy Air Refuelling Course (SHARC). She has also contributed to Air Transport studies, initiatives and training courses. Major Thomas earned her B.A. in Political Science from Seattle University and her M.A. in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University.

Information provided is current as of January 2017
Author
Major
 Chad
 Taylor
Joint Air Power Competence Centre (2012-2015)

Major Chad Taylor is a U.S. Senior Air Force Pilot with 3,500+ flying hours, mostly in the C-130E, H and J. He has completed operational tours in Southeast Asia, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East as an aviator, CAOC Planner and Operations Officer. Major Taylor has extensive experience in mobility operations, inspections and evaluations, exercise conception and control, contingency mobilisation and forward deployment/employment. Major Taylor currently works in the Air Operations Support branch at the Joint Air Power Competence Centre in Kalkar, Germany, where he develops NATO AAR and AT doctrine and fosters interoperability among the Alliance.

Information provided is current as of November 2013
Author
Major
 Joshua
 Chambers
Joint Air Power Competence Centre (2014-2015)

Major Joshua ‘Beaker’ Chambers commissioned through AFROTC at Rochester Institute of Technology in 2002. He is a senior pilot weapons officer with more than 2,900 hours flying KC-135R / T and T-1A aircraft. He has completed operational tours in Southwest Asia, Caribbean, and Afghanistan, most recently as operations officer for forward-deployed KC-135 aircraft. Major Chambers brings a breadth of experience in squadron operations, interoperability, exercise evaluation and execution, and tanker planning and operations management. Major Chambers currently serves in the Air Operations Support branch at the Joint Air Power Competence Centre in Kalkar, Germany, where he develops NATO AAR doctrine and fosters interoperability and a unified AAR message for the Alliance.

Information provided is current as of January 2017

Contact Us

Contact Information

Joint Air Power Competence Centre
Römerstrasse 140
47546 Kalkar
Germany

+49 (0) 2824 90 2201

Please leave us a message