On 28. April 2011 , the European Air Transport Command (EATC) takes control over the tactical fixed wing air transport assets of the Belgian Air Force based in Melsbroek. The Belgian ToA to the EATC is a further step towards its Initial Operating Capability (IOC) which is foreseen to be reached within the next few days.
Based on a formal “Transfer of Authority” (ToA), the multinational EATC is from now on responsible for the planning, tasking and mission controlling of the Belgian Air Force’s C130 fleet and the Airbus 330. At the same time Belgium hands over authority in the area of force generation, giving defined levels of responsibility to the multinational command for training, concepts, employment as well as fleet management.
Together with the already transferred air transport fleets from Germany, France and the Netherlands the commander EATC now executes operational control over a large pool of more then 150 aircraft. The diversity of aircraft types offers the flexibility to choose at any time the asset which fits best the requirements of a mission. Hence the EATC reaches an unprecedented level of efficiency and turns the nations’ ambition into their benefit.
Moreover, with the nationally defined levels of authority over force generation tasks the multinational command will be in a favourite position to improve harmonization and to increase the level of standardization and interoperability between the four participating nations’ air transport fleet.
Since exercising centralized control the EATC has executed nearly 3500 of air transport missions, 65 of them where Air to Air Refuelling missions. In addition, EATC already coordinated Aero medical Evacuation Missions for more than 400 patients and supported current operations by planning and controlling sustainment flights. Besides, the EATC has also been engaged in the harmonisation of national regulations as well as the improvement of training opportunities.