EDA conducts helicopter tactics discussion
The European Defence Agency (EDA) recently held its eighth Helicopter Tactics Symposium in Rijen, the Netherlands.
Organised under EDA’s Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP), the symposium offered an opportunity for European helicopter crews to discuss and share experience in helicopter techniques, tactics and procedures.
The event saw participation from 50 helicopter tactics specialists from twelve EDA member states, representatives of the Helicopter Tactics Instructors Course, the Joint Air Power Competence Centre, the Multinational Aviation Training Centre and the Netherlands Aerospace Centre.
Discussions focused on tactical lessons from recent EDA helicopter exercises, such as ‘Black Blade 16’ and ‘Fire Blade 17’. Lessons learnt sessions covered counter surface-to-air fire tactics, urban operations, a recent Slovenian MEDEVAC operation, a Czech helicopter door gunner pre-deployment training and the introduction of special operation forces’ helicopters in Germany.
The attendees also received a detailed presentation on the Dutch helicopter aviation training system and discussed topics related to helicopter techniques, tactics and procedures, including combined tactical operations in which transport helicopters are escorted by attack helicopters during missions abroad.
The discussion resulted in new concrete proposals for updating the HEP Standard Operating Procedure, the tactics manual for multinational helicopter operations.
Upcoming HEP exercises, including Hot Blade 2018, will focus on helicopter Composite Air Operations missions in hot, high-altitude and dusty conditions with trooping, live firing and MEDEVAC flights.
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