The seven EATC member nations and the European Union Military Staff have signed a technical arrangement regarding the provision of strategic air transport and aeromedical evacuation services for the benefit of the European Union.
Through this arrangement, the seven EATC nations offer to the EU quick and first-hand access to the EATC air mobility portfolio. Moreover, by earmarking virtual currency to the profit of EUMS, they enable the EU to refund on its own terms the air transport services via the cashless exchange system, called ATARES .
The Commander EATC, Major-General Schick, is looking forward to this unique cooperation. “The EU does no longer need to fall back to EATC’s sponsor nations concept but may request air transport, on a similar basis as the EATC member nations. I also welcome that the nations earmarked “equivalent flying hours” for the benefit of the EU. Strictly speaking the EU may now use its own virtual currency to compensate for the air transport missions. All in all the EU can now react in a fast and effective manner to crises, through EATC and its airlift capabilities.”
In practical terms, the EU can introduce an air transport request through the Belgium or German movement centers, who offer procedural and operational expertise necessary for EU airlift or aeromedical evacuation missions. Then the EATC takes up the request, chooses the best asset, plans and tasks the mission, and finally supervises the execution on a 24/7 basis. It goes without saying that the mission is executed in accordance with the national regulations and EATC’s procedures. Once successfully executed, cashless payment is settled via the ATARES system.
This procedure could be used for one year, considering this arrangement as a pilot-project to further extend the initiative beyond the EATC member nations.
Major-General Schick concludes that “our nations paved the way to true multinational defense cooperation. EATC is proud to form a part of this unique and exceptional endeavour.”