Five Allies Partake in European Air Refuelling Training over the Netherlands
(Source: NATO Allied Air Command; issued April 5, 2018)
Four tanker aircraft from the Netherlands, France, Italy and Germany (from left to right) at Eindhoven Air Base during a previous air refuelling training event. (EATC photo)
EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands --- The European Air Transport Commands (EATC) conducts the fifth European Air Refuelling Training (EART) from April 8 to 20 out of Eindhoven Air Base, the Netherlands.

During EART 2018, Allies France, Germany, the Netherlands and for the first time the United States – who is not an EATC member – will be practicing tanker operations and procedures. Introduced in 2014, the EART concept is focused on multinational Air-to-Air Refuelling operations specialising on providing challenging training for air and maintenance crews from Allied nations.

The EART events have been linked to the multinational Royal Netherlands Air Force led live-fly fighter exercise Frisian Flag. This allows tanker crews to exploit the unique opportunity to plan and execute refueling missions for fighter aircraft from several Allies adding to a complex and realistic scenario.

"Thanks to the continuous effort of the EATC, crews increase their know-how in complex multinational scenarios, further hone their knowledge of other Allies’ tanker aircraft and tactics, techniques and procedures,” says EART 2018 exercise director Colonel Andrea Massucci, Italian Air Force.

During EART 2018, the focus is on the use of so-called tanker cell formation in congested airspace and on tanker-to-tanker rendezvous procedures. Air-to-air refuelling is a major enabler for Allied and coalition air operations extending the range and endurance of air assets. It is paramount that aircrews in both the tankers and the fighters are well-trained and experienced to enable them to cooperate in any real-world mission.

EATC is a multinational command of seven member Nations (the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain), established at Eindhoven Air Base in 2010. It has a recognised experience in military air transport, air-to-air refuelling and aeromedical evacuation and is comprised of 60 percent of all military air transport assets in Europe. Through EATC, support is given to both NATO and EU member nations in the field of strategic transportation.

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