Hungary to host Fire Blade 2017
The European Defence Agency's (EDA's) Exercise FIRE BLADE 2017 will take place at the Pápa Airbase in Hungary from 1st-12th May, the EDA announced on 1 March.
The exercise is part of the EDA's wider Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP) series. It will give European helicopter crews the opportunity to train together, plan and execute missions within a joint combined framework, and adopt joint procedures while operating in challenging scenarios.
Personnel and assets from five member states will participate in the exercise: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary and Slovenia. Over 450 personnel are expected and 17 air assets. Observers from Italy and Czech Republic are also expected.
Tom Bennington, head of education, training and exercise unit at EDA, said: 'The exercise gives a good opportunity to train in a realistic operational setting. Specifically we will be working with special forces, and will be focusing on live weapons firing using the composite air operations concept, effectively operating the helicopters with fast jets and ground assets [such as surface-to-air missile systems]'.
During the exercise the units will fly a diverse set of day and night training missions, with a focus on live firing operations.
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