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Defence Ministers launch European Helicopter Training

18th November 2009 - 08:58 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


EU Defence Ministers have launched a European Helicopter Training Programme to increase in the short-term the availability of helicopters for crisis management operations.

The Programme will start in 2010. It will consist of two life exercises per year, one focussing on individual training and one on interoperability and operational tactics. An annual symposium will take stock of lessons learned from operations and further shape the development of further exercises.

“This is another concrete result of the Agency’s work. The Helicopter Training Programme will deliver immediately more helicopter capabilities, which we all know in a continuous shortfall in deployed operations”, said Head of the Agency Javier Solana, who chaired the meeting.

The HTP aims to deliver two exercises per year, with one focussing on individual training, essentially environmental training, and one focussing on interoperability and operational tactics. The feedback from operations will be captured and disseminated in an annual tactics symposium and this will further shape the development of future exercises.

Spain has offered to host an environmental exercise in June 2010 (EX AZOR). This will be an environmental exercise utilising the hot, high and dusty conditions available in northern Spain in the summer. A second exercise is foreseen for the second semester 2010.

An initial training capacity has already been delivered; a multinational helicopters exercise, conducted by the European Defence Agency, hosted by France and financed by Luxembourg took place in Gap (in the Alps, South East of France) in March 2009. It brought together helicopters and crews from Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Hungary and Spain, as well as personnel from nine other EU Member States. Czech pilots, deployed to Afghanistan before the end of 2009, were trained at this occasion.

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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