Multinational integrated employment is challenging since this is not yet a standard practice within our air forces. It however ultimately stands for the highest level of interoperability and therefore offers to nations an overall reduced footprint (manpower and other resources). This is why EATC encourages air forces to take every opportunity to think differently, foster a deeper cooperation and challenge a more integrated approach. The LHP is an excellent platform to practice this.
But why do we need a LHP? Why do I need to practice how to repair an aircraft from another nation, why do I not just allow a foreign parachutist to jump from my aircraft, what is the challenge to prepare missions together or to handle passengers and cargo with my EATC ground-handling colleagues? It is all about different regulations for airworthiness, liability, responsibility and certification!
Based on civilian national and European airworthiness regulations, every national “Military Airworthiness Authority” has developed its own variants of respective military regulations to ensure the safe conduct throughout all phases of air operations. They set the standards and audit the organisations which are applying these standards. Although the final goal remains the same: safety of all parties, we face different military airworthiness regulations in our nations.
So there is a lot of ground to gain. Common rules or at least the recognition of the different national regulations is however a prerequisite when it comes to integrated employment. Through the LHP, EATC is getting the ball rolling and offering meetings to negotiate and a platform to practice A400M cross-activities with the goal to mutually recognize national capabilities and certifications and enable the nations to commonly operate aircraft.
To get started, all five EATC A400M nations have implemented common guidelines into their national regulations. This allows cross-national activities and the validation of regulations during multinational events in 2023. The events also offer the crews and technicians to learn from each other and to share procedures. Together they set the foundations for future fully integrated multinational A400M detachments.