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NATO concludes air-to-air refuelling exercise in Canary Islands

28th October 2022 - 18:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


EART is an important regular exercise for the international air-to-air refuelling community. (Photo: Spanish Air Force)

The European Air Refuelling Training exercise is an important event for the NATO air-to-air refuelling community, and enhances multinational operations.

French, Italian and Canadian tanker aircraft have concluded the European Air Refuelling Training (EART) 2022 in the Canary Islands. EART 2022, taking place between 17 and 27 October, was the eighth of its kind. 

NATO fighter forces were assembled in the region for the Spanish live-fly exercise SIRIO 2022 and the tankers have been conducting air-to-air refuelling missions.

The French, Italian and Canadian tankers deployed to Lanzarote Military Airfield to refuel Spanish fighter jets from all Spanish Air Force wings.

In 2014, European Air Transport Command introduced EART following the European Defence Agency’s air-to-air-refuelling initiative. 

‘EART is an important and fixed building block in the international air-to-air refuelling community,’ Italian Air Force colonel and EART director of Functional Division Salvatore Melillo noted in a NATO statement upon conclusion of the exercise.

‘Crews who work together here may meet during real-world missions eg, to support allied missions enabling NATO’s deter and defend operation and the Air Shielding along the eastern flank of the alliance,’ he added.

Around 300 participants executed 30 sorties with three tankers, accumulating more than 95 flying hours and achieving 166 training objectives.

Lanzarote has its own permanent air force troop detachment and an air defence radar which covers the eastern Canary Islands and the maritime area up to the Sahara.

The Shephard News Team


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