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EART 2016

Thursday 21 April - 11:53h  |  News & Press updates

The third edition of EART is in full operation with four different tankers from the Netherlands, France, Germany and Italy.


Over the past years EATC has further developed and refined the EART training concept. The main objective is to train tankers crews in multinational and complex air operations. Then EART also aims at providing specific training out of the range of the participants’ national daily training: academics, mentors, air refuelling operators, crews, planners,taskers, engineers, etc… are training together for two weeks, cooperating in a multinational environment, building up interoperability with their counterparts.



Major Domenico, pilot with the Italian Air Force, and Major Jerôme, navigator with the French Air Force, have participated in EART 2016. Here are their impressions.

Major Domenico was the Italian detachment commander and mentor pilot for EART 2016 participating with a team of 29 persons including two flight crews and one maintenance team. The Italian tanker was a KC-767A.

“It is always interesting to take a look at what is happening just outside your world. Sharing news, future programs, projects, procedures and techniques is always the most interesting part in multinational exchanges.”

The priority for Major Domenico and his detachment was to verify whether the Italian air-to-air refuelling standards were in line with those of the other countries participating in the training. Moreover during EART 2016, they had the opportunity to meet in person other operators that had the same or a similar role in the partner countries.

As for the challenges, the primary one was to perform and fly the mission up to the national standards in an environment which was not the homebase and where there was none or only limited support from the squadron.

Basically, we are requested to replicate abroad the same level of expertise owned at home.“


Major Jerôme was integrated as a mentor into the French detachment. His tasks included to accompany crews of any nationality during their flights, to debrief after the flight and to help improving procedures. The French tanker was a C135 FR.

“The most important thing is the opportunity, thanks to EART, to exchange with other “tanker men”.

Major Jerôme had the opportunity to fly with Dutch crews in a KDC10. He considers this experience as a very exciting learning the different procedures of partner nations. The major challenge for the whole team was to perform dedicated training in an environment the crew is not used to. The most challenging scenario was “on-scene-commander” (OSC) for a simulated survivor. Other challenges were accompanied let-down with fighters, tanker-tanker rendez-vous, radio communication procedures or the use of code words as an operator.

For Major Jerôme, EART 2016 confirmed the experience in working together and being efficient.

“We should be very proud the way we train. “






Pictures: EATC

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