June 13, 2016 - 09:00 ( Brasília )


Multi-ship, format flying at the core of airlift tactics course in France

The second European Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Course (EAATTC 16-2) of 2016, sponsored by the twenty Nation European Air Transport Fleet (EATF) Partnership, started on 22 May with the arrival of six aircraft and six crews from France, Germany and Spain at the French Bricy Airbase near Orleans in France. The course will run for two weeks and will take the already combat ready crews to the next level through an intensive round of academic lectures, one-on-one tuition and increasingly complex flying evolutions.

As with previous EAATTC courses, the weeks will focus on a specific aspect of advanced capability. For EAATTC 16-2 hosted by France, the focus will be on multi-ship, formation flying - training to drop both equipment and paratroopers in a simulated high threat environment, from multiple aircraft and in a precisely coordinated manner - accurate to the second and dropping within a very small target area. This task is very challenging as the course involves three different aircraft types: C-130, C-160 and Casa-235.

The complexity of each event builds over the period and by the end of the second week the crew commanders will be required to lead a full formation, at low level, evading enemy fighters and numerous simulated ground threat from small arms, hand-held missiles and more elaborate anti-aircraft systems. The third course for 2016 will run in Bulgaria from 31 July to 12 August.

European Air Transport Fleet (EATF)

The European Air Transport Fleet project (EATF) is designed to improve the airlift provision in the European Union. EATF provides a flexible and inclusive partnership for national and multinational military air transport fleets and organisations in Europe. It addresses the way different air transport assets are acquired, operated, supported, and managed to ensure this is done in the most efficient way possible. The long term vision of the EATF is to establish a robust network linking various European air transport entities aiming at the efficient employment of all present and future air transport capabilities made available by the pMS for military needs, regardless of type or origin.

Project goals

  • To improve the airlift provision within the European Union
  • To develop concrete solutions to better use existing and future airlift assets and organisations made available by the pMS to meet military operational requirements
  • To be able to transport any personnel/equipment by any asset with a minimum of constraints
  • To address the way different types of air transport assets are acquired, operated, supported and managed in the most efficient way

Detailed description of the project

As described in the EATF Programme arrangement (PA) signed on 23 May 2011 the management and implementation of the EATF-programme is achieved by a governance structure consisting of a Management Committee (MC) – meeting twice a year - for strategic guidance and Project Management Groups (PMG) to manage EDA Ad Hoc Cat B projects. Ad hoc working groups (AHWG) also exist to start developing projects potentially to become CatA or CatB projects at a later stage or to address issues participants want to discuss.

Currently only one PMG is activated developing the legal framework for a future training centre which will manage EATTs and EAATCs as well as symposia as from mid-2016. On the side of the AHWGs the main one is the AHWG Operations and Training (AHWG O&T) dealing with all issues regarding airlift operations and training that pMS want to address,  out of which the most important ones are EATT, EAATTC, EATIC and EATS. The second AHWG is the one dealing with diplomatic clearances (AHWG DIC) which is managing the diplomatic clearances Technical Arrangement (DIC TA).


  • Diplomatic Clearances Technical Arrangement (DIC TA) - issuing an annual diplomatic clearance number amongst signatories
  • European Air Transport Training (EATT) - yearly training event, based on national training requirements, allowing pMS to train airlift disciplines
  • European Airlift Tactics Training Course (EAATTC) - airlift course designed to increase interoperability and tactical knowledge
  • European Air Transport Symposium (EATS) - yearly symposium at air crew level to discuss operational and training issues
  • C27J common maintenance and common training - potential cooperation among C27J users regarding more cost-efficient use of their aircraft