The operation planning is the key to a successful mission execution.
To ensure a successful training with varied and complex missions in a multinational framework, everything is orchestrated and coordinated at different levels following a well-defined planning.
As a first step, an Air Task Order (ATO) with missions, targets and objectives is issued the day prior the execution of the mission at 13h00 local time. The next morning at ten o’clock, an „initial briefing“ gathers all air crews, who will be flying during the PM wave, and other „players“. In this briefing the different cells present the daily missions´set up in compliance with the ATO and provide essential information to the crews under the coordination of the wave coordinator or WACO. They are informed about the weather conditions over the mission areas, drop and landing zones, etc... The intel cell details the missions of the day with specific scenarii including air threat assessment and threat level. Crews are also briefed on runway procedures, airspace reservation, on-going exercises and the different activities planned for the day (formation, drops, tanker activity, etc...). This meeting is of highly importance considering the number of aircraft at the same time in the air. Around noon, the players gather again for the „mass brief“ to review the flights for the afternoon wave and deal with updates of additional elements – this is the coordination briefing. A last meeting at 17h00 enables the crews to debrief on their missions and discuss key points or objectives.
Throughout the whole day, the “step desk” under the supervision of the SOF (supervisor of flights) acts as a crossroads of all points of contact making it a focal point, where all information is available and up to date: mission status, mission profiles, flight safety regulations, delays, breakdowns or any activity related information.
Orchestration and coordination are key aspects for all players : air crew, paratroopers, maintenance crews and other ground crews, etc... They act in multinational teams, enabling them to enhance interoperability and exchanging knowledge and experience.