22 Nov 2019

Helicopter specialists participate in EDA Tactics Symposium Event

An EDA Tactics Symposium event attracted helicopter specialists from 11 participating member states.

Tactics specialists attended the annual European Defence Agency (EDA) Tactics Symposium event to share expertise and best practices. The event took place at the Air Manoeuvre, Training and Exercise Centre (AMTEC) in Celle, Germany.

The event was attended by around 50 specialists as well as representatives from the Joint Air Power Competence Centre (JAPCC), the Helicopter Tactics Instructors Course (HTIC), and the European Helicopter Industry. The event looked at tactics such as personnel recovery, air assault/mobile operations and planning cycles, and aerial gunnery.

A central part of the symposium was devoted to drawing the tactical lessons from recent EDA helicopter exercises, such as ‘Dark Blade 19’ held at Namest 22nd Helicopter Air Base, Czech Republic, in May 2019. Other sessions addressed the lessons learned from operation MINUSMA in Mali as well as the experiences made by helicopter pilots in Iraq and Libya.

Looking ahead, symposium participants were briefed on upcoming HEP exercises, including Swift Blade 2020 (to be held in The Netherlands and Belgium) which will focus on helicopter Composite Air Operations (COMAO) and national training required by the participating member states. In 2021, the annual HEP exercise will take place in Portugal under the label ‘Hot Blade’.

Industry was also present during the symposium with a speaker on ‘Rotary Wing developments to meet future operational needs’. Furthermore, a Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) shared his experience and feedback on working with helicopters in operations as well as EDA exercises, and a representative from Sweden spoke about the country’s new Helicopter Tactics Training Concept.

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