Operating multinationally and being efficient in joint and combined operations is the benchmark today. And still, speaking the same military language among partners stays a challenge. This is why one of EATC’s main objective is to develop common studies, standardise procedures, harmonise concepts and offer multinational trainings. Or in other words : foster interoperability to enhance the ability to operate together and achieve best utilisation of assets.

Major David is an experienced study leader in EATC. He is responsible to develop studies, procedures and concepts. Get his personal story and see behind the curtain of his most interesting position!

I have worked with EATC’s functional division for over 2 years now. I am responsible within the “technical & logistical” branch to coordinate, elaborate and conduct studies or other documents. You might think this is quite boring – sitting behind a desk and writing studies. Let me tell you, my position is everything but boring!

Of course I have to follow a predefined EATC process to excel in my work. The steps to request, initiate, conduct and implement the result of a study are pre-set in a dynamic process. For example, a study can be initiated by one of our member nations or by EATC because there is a national requirement or, an operational/functional need.

But it can also be initiated if a challenge affecting investments, interoperability or other arises. In any case, all our studies benefit our member nations. Once the study is initiated, EATC investigates thoroughly on the outline, goals, as well as possible opportunities and risks. Eventually the study is launched.

I have been designated study leader on a couple of studies since I joined EATC. To me, each time I am offered a new study is an opportunity, a challenge and an acknowledgment. As a study leader, I am in permanent contact with my Belgian, German, Dutch, French, Italian, Luxembourg and Spanish colleagues.

This constant multinational interaction is the cherry on the cake in my job.

I interact on a daily basis with the “ops guys”, my colleagues from the operational division. Because linking operational and functional requirements are key to my job! And key to optimise air mobility missions or foster interoperability. Of course I also coordinate on a daily basis with the experts in my branch who surprise me every day with their consolidated knowledge and confirmed know-how.

Furthermore I work in close coordination with the national points of contact or the subject matter experts. I am responsible to conduct the study, but I can only do this if I get the commitment and support from the member nations. This is why, I am in constant contact with them, coordinating, interacting, exchanging ideas and views, defining timelines, roadmaps and the priority to be given to the study.

At EATC we tackle a multitude of different studies, manuals, procedures, or other documents. Some take longer, others are quickly finished. Some are urgent, others are given less priority. They range from the EATC operations manual to studies in relation with the ramp-up of the A400M fleet or the pooling and sharing of aircraft recovery capability and include training manuals and or a common air-to-air refuelling syllabus.

EATC’s  study conference

Every year, EATC organizes a conference to inform the members about the results and the progress of each individual study. We then also seek guidance from the nations on the way ahead for each ongoing study. Sometimes the nations take the decision to freeze a study, for instance when the goals are not met or the conditions to meet them are not given.

During the conference, I support my colleagues to compile all the information shared by the national representatives and elaborate a study plan for the following year. Once the plan is approved by our commander, I am always eager to find out whether I am designated for another interesting study.

I am proud to be part of the great EATC community and I am proud to gain the trust and confidence of the nations. But I am also proud, that thanks to my commitment, EATC’s member nations become more interoperable and operate more efficiently together.

An insight into some studies:

Pooling and Sharing of aircraft recovery capability.

This study was initiated to pool and share equipment for aircraft recovery, including services and training, due to the high cost and seldom use of this kind of air ground equipment. Resulting of this study, EATC has elaborated two manuals: “Provision of aircraft recovery capability within EATC member nations”, which establish the framework to enable common support, sharing of equipment and servicing and common training and “Disabled Aircraft Recovery Training ” to provide the member nations with a basic training regarding aircraft recovery techniques.

Click here for our brand new article on DART 2019.

A400M Employment of technicians.

The aim is to have a harmonised scope of employment and privileges of technicians between the different A400M users. The outcome of the study is a manual to enable, at the moment, basic cross-maintenance activities, and which may be easy exported to other common EATC fleet, such as C130J.

EATC’s ground operations manual (EGOM)

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EATC’s operational manual

Click here to read more (part1 and part2 )