Effective and efficient air transport and air-to-air refuelling operations in a multinational environment require nations to share concepts, doctrines and procedures. Enhancing harmonization and interoperability between EATC Participating Nations (PNs) is the main objective of the EATC functional division (FUND). The main benefits of this work are optimized utilization of available assets and efficiency in the planning and execution of air transport.
To achieve this overall objective, FUND is developing policies and common standards related to Air Transport (AT), Airdrops and Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) in the domains of employment, logistics and training. Due to the different national regulations on various topics, this is not an easy task. Close and interdependent coordination with OPSD and partner nations is paramount.
The entry into service of the A400M and the A330 MRTT in most of the EATC PNs are two lighthouse projects in which FUND is deeply involved in developing standardized procedures.
FUND is structured in three different branches: Employment, Training & Exercises and Technical & Logistical.
Employment Branch (EMPL)
EMPL concentrates on the harmonization and interoperability aspects related to the execution of AT, Airdrop and AAR missions. Therefore, EMPL develops doctrines, concepts, policies and common standards related to Air-C2, flight procedures, on board equipment and mission support tools. It contributes to interoperability and certification activities related to mission execution.
Training and Exercises (TREX)
TREX acts as a central point of expertise on AT, Airdrop and AAR training matters. In coordination with national AT and AAR authorities, TREX makes recommendations to participants, issues common directives and coordinates the harmonization and standardization of training syllabi concerning air crew and ground crew members.
Furthermore, TREX is actively engaged in initiatives related to combined training events such as EATT, an EDA initiative in the EATF project (European Air Transport Fleet). The development of Advanced Tactical Training Courses and the European Air to Air Refuelling Training is also in TREX’s portfolio. With TREX, the EATC shows that the unique pool of experts for tactics and techniques in the tactical airlift domain has a great value for its Partner Nations.
Technical and Logistics (TEcHLOG)
TECHLOG focuses on the harmonization and interoperability aspects related to the technical and logistic support of AT and AAR missions. The main objective is to share common standards in order to reduce the logistical footprint in future common operations. Cross-national maintenance is an important step which might be achieved in the future with the entry into service of the A400M.
Ground handling operations is another key domain in the scope of interests of TECHLOG. A new EGOM (EATC Ground Operations Manual) has been published in January 2015 and is the major step towards interoperability between EATC PNs.
Furthermore, on behalf of EATC participating nations, TECHLOG is preparing the future with prospective studies and is deeply involved in the implementation of European Military Airworthiness Requirements (EMARs).
Besides that, within the Fleet Monitoring Section all kind of data on our PNs fleets are assembled and evaluated and provided for further usage. This is e.g. an overview on the A/C status within our fleets, serviceability, maintenance planning, etc. Apart from that, Fleet Monitoring produces a yearly Fleet Review to inform all PNs on the combined fleet, important evolutions and future developments.
The main activities of the Functional Division
To achieve the overall objective in regard to the optimized utilization of EATC assets, the Functional Division divided its work in three main tasks. Firstly, the work on new procedures, concepts and doctrines is done in the EATC Study framework. The fostering of developed procedures and concepts but also tasks related to providing support to nations and the OPS division are our so-called recurrent work. Last but certainly not least, the third activity encompasses the EATC’s efforts in the multinational training and exercises environment which bring air and ground crews up to standard but also is an important laboratory to test and enhance newly developed concepts. Because of the strong interrelation between the operational, technical and training domains and the unique pool of expertise within the Functional Division, these three main tasks are most of the time fulfilled by personnel of the different branches.
To find out more about the divisions actual work, click here to find out more about EATC Interoperability Studies.