On 12 September 2018, Major General Laurent Marboeuf, the newly appointed EATC commander, participated in the first air-to-air refuelling (AAR) conference in Europe, organised by the European Defence Agency (EDA).
The conference gathered key decision-makers from the EU and NATO as well as high level representatives from the international AAR community. Major General Marboeuf introduced EATC from a European operational AAR point of view.
“If we want to increase our AAR capabilities in Europe, EATC is definitely the “brand” European nations need to invest in! Why? Because we have the right layout and the best experts from seven different nations, and finally, because we have the required level of experience and we can surely have a leading role in this capability build-up.”
The commander EATC further specifies EATC’s role as a centre of expertise in the AAR domain. With the implementation of the multinational MRTT unit, the achievement of full AAR capability for the A-400Ms and the arrival of new C-130Js, the AAR fleet under EATC authority will be tripled in just a few years. Major General Marboeuf will lead EATC to become the major force provider in Europe, with large operational options and reinforced operational effectiveness for EATC’s member nations, as well as increased interoperability between the partners.
“EATC is a catalyst and a force multiplier. We make the best use of what we have available in our portfolio! Thanks to our expertise, we support our member nations with their operational level of ambition in the AAR domain or with operational requirements to meet future needs.”
The participants to the conference also approached the AAR issue from a political point of view, discussed lessons learned from AAR operations and tackled shortfalls including possible solutions.
This first AAR conference in Europe was a huge success!