On 27 November 2023, the French-German C-130J Binational Air Transport Squadron (BATS) "Rhein/Rhin" celebrated the unit’s first 10,000 flying hours. EATC’s Commander, Major-General Franck Mollard, and Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Frank Best, attended the ceremony that took place at the BATS home base in Evreux (France).
General Mollard congratulates the unit for the excellent missions that they have performed, in their young history, under the operational authority of EATC. He compliments in particular “on the successful recent French and German missions to Africa and the Middle East and on the close relationship between the unit’s and EATC’s experts.”
The Commander EATC is looking forward to further integrating BATS into EATC and confirms that “EATC stands ready to support BATS to achieve full operational capability. We are looking forward to planning and monitoring tactical air transport missions with the units C130Js, including crisis response operations such as military evacuation operations and delivering tactical support to special forces.”
General Mollard concludes that “BATS is an outstanding collaborative effort where French and German personnel work hand in hand, train together, provide serviceable aircraft and execute operational missions worldwide with mixed teams. A clear example of interoperability and multinational cooperation!”
More information on BATS:
Currently BATS is operating seven Hercules aircraft (4 French and 3 German) on worldwide air transport missions. In 2024, three additional German C-130J will be delivered, increasing the number of aircraft to a total of 10. The latter will be the tanker version of the Hercules, providing an additional capability to the BATS to refuel for instance helicopters in flight.
@Photo credit: BATS and EATC