Dark Blade 2019 kicks off in Czech Republic
The European Defence Agency (EDA) has kicked off the Dark Blade 2019 helicopter exercise at Náměšť airbase in Czech Republic, the agency announced on 13 May.
Organised under the EDA’s Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP), the event will take place from 13 May to 1 June 2019.
A total of 29 air assets, including 25 helicopters and four fixed wing aircraft, and around 600 military personnel from six countries - Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia - will participate in the exercise hosted by the Czech Air Force.
The exercise will mainly focus on enhancing interoperability at the tactical level between helicopter units by using the Composite Air Operations (COMAO) concept in a combined, joint, realistic and challenging environment and to operate using standard helicopter tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs). The emphasis will be on COMAO with live firing and trooping; training and practising TTPs with/against fighter jets and electronic warfare means on the ground; improving interoperability in training and operational tasks with ground forces involvement (NVG operations, low level flying, formation flights and gunnery) in a full spectrum environment.
Participating crews will fly day and night COMAO missions and execute air assault, air interdiction, air transport, close air support, personnel recovery missions, night flights (with/without NVG) and other missions at the tactical level.
The exercise will also provide multiple opportunities to practice multinational training with Special Operation Forces and enhance crew skills in using the HEP Standard Operating Procedures and COMAO planning procedures in the conduct of tactical missions.
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