The accession process of Spain to the EATC has entered its final round with the first meeting of the multinational working group for the accession of Spain to the EATC (ESP AWG) that was established by the MATraC end of May. EATC Participating Nations’ and Spanish representatives from Air Force and Joint Command levels started - under the chairmanship of Brigadier General J. Lebert, Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff of the EATC - first discussions about Spain possible contribution.
The objective of this working group is to negotiate the terms of accession. The main issues that have to be tackled are:
- Sharing key for the common budget
- Contribution to the Peacetime Establishment (PE)
- Assets and levels of authority to be transferred to the EATC
- Operational and legal documents
Additionally, the working group agreed upon process, way ahead and milestones to be covered to the conclusion of the accession.
The next meeting of the ESP AWG is planned for 13 November 2013.
Within the Spanish accession it is foreseen that the EATC will enlarge with additional aircraft types – Casa CN 295, Boeing B707 and Lockheed Hercules C-130/C-130 TK. The upcoming Spanish enhancement will lead to a significant grow up in air-to-air refuelling (AAR) capacities, because two of the above mentioned aircraft types are available in a tanker configuration. At a later stage the B707 as well as the C-130 will be exchanged by Airbus A330 MRTT (planned) and Airbus A400M.
Text: Ralf Gerard/Norbert Thomas
Picture: Spanish Air Force