BRUSSELS --- The 5th in the series of Helicopter Tactics Instructors Courses (HTIC) to be ran by EDA on behalf of Member States will kick off on 15 May 2017 at Royal Air Force (RAF) Linton-on-Ouse, North Yorkshire in the United Kingdom.
The HTIC has grown significantly over the four previous courses both in terms of scope and quality and, for the first time, almost all of the staff instructors (90%) will be successful graduates of previous courses. This point of self-sustainment is a long-held aspiration, which dates back to when the programme was first initiated by the EDA over five years ago, and marks a final chapter on its route to maturity.
The 5th HTIC will begin with a four-week classroom phase including simulator exercises at Linton-on-Ouse. This is followed by a three week deployment to Arvidsjaur Airfield in Lapland (Sweden) where the participants will engage in live flying exercises operating Swedish Blackhawks, Austrian Huey, Kiowa & Blackhawks and German CH-53s.
The Staff Instructors will come from Sweden, Austria and the UK with supporting air assets including: Hawks from 100 Sqn (UK), Gripens from F21 Wing in Lulea (Sweden) and Alca Jets from the Czech Air Force. Additionally, a DA-20 Falcon from Cobham Aviation will provide EW and C2 support, augmented with ground based Electronic Warfare (EW) assets provided by RAF Spadeadam’s EW Range.
In total, around 35 trainees and instructors will participate in the ground phase. However, that number will swell to over 120, with all the supporting assets, engineers and operations personnel during the flying phase.
The EDA’s Helicopter Tactics Instructors Course (HTIC) provides aircrew from participating nations with the skills and knowledge to teach advanced tactics to front-line aircrews from within their own national organisations and to assist in delivering the EDA’s Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP), the Helicopter Tactics Course (HTC) and the future HTIC.
Successful graduates from the course are awarded a qualification recognised by other Member States. HTIC development courses run over two years: in the first year, prospective instructors refine their own knowledge of advanced helicopter tactics to the maximum degree. In the second year, the emphasis shifts to develop the participants’ ability to teach those tactics.
In turn, Instructors who have demonstrated above average abilities in delivering the course will be individually selected to become supervising instructors for future HTIC.
The three main elements of HTIC include Evasion Training, Electronic Warfare and advanced Operations. They are initially taught as stand-alone skills before being brought together in a complex, non-permissive environment in the framework of the planning and execution of Composite Air Operations (COMAO).