OTOPENI AIRBASE, Romania --- Five EDA Member States operating C-27J Spartan military aircraft (Bulgaria, Italy, Lithuania, Slovakia and Romania) participate in the 4th edition of the European Spartan exercise which started today (13 May) at Otopeni airbase in Romania.
Observers from other C-27J user countries, such as Greece and even the United States and Australia, also attend the event which runs until 24 May. The aim of the exercise is to increase interoperability among European C27J Spartan operators. It is one of the outcomes of the European Air Transport Fleet (EATF) partnership signed in 2011 by 20 EDA Member States.
Designed by EDA and hosted by the Romanian Air Force, the event aims at promoting aircraft user type approaches to harmonise tactics, techniques and procedures as well as to develop more cost-effective solutions to operate and sustain the C27J. The objective is to provide air crews with both academic and flight training as well as to have ground crews developing harmonised procedures to eventually allowing them to perform cross maintenance on each other’s aircraft. The C-27J Spartan aircraft can perform tactical missions in peacekeeping and humanitarian operations, providing direct air transport to the theatre, day and night.
This flying event was developed in the framework of the C27J cooperation concept launched in 2015 by EDA. This concept is looking at developing a far-reaching level of interoperability amongst European C27J operators through a variety of projects in the areas of operations & training, logistics, airworthiness, common procurement and SESAR.
The main advantages of EDA’s user groups – that are working in full transparency and cooperate with all other existing user groups led by other organisations, industry and/or service providers – is to group medium and small national fleets to take advantage of economies of scale, to exchange best practices and to be more cost-efficient in operating and sustaining the aircraft.
Media & VIP Days
On 22 May, a dedicated Media Day will take place offering journalists the possibility to attend a flying exercise at Boboc Airbase will include the landing of C-27J Spartan aircraft on soil and short-distance tracks, parachuting personnel and materials, cooperation with combat aircraft, airline coordination with land forces and medical evacuation. Media representatives who want to participate are requested to send their personal data (name, surname, ID number, name/address of media they represent) to firstname.lastname@example.org (deadline: Friday 17 May, 2pm).
The following day, on 23 May, there will also be a Distinguished Visitors’ Day attended by Romanian Defence Minister Gabriel-Beniamin Leş and EDA Deputy Chief Executive Olli Ruutu. Media representatives who want to attend the Distinguished Visitors’ Day are requested to send their personal data (name, surname, ID number, name/address of media they represent) to email@example.com (deadline: Wednesday 22 May, 2pm).
The European Air Transport Fleet (EATF) partnership, launched in 2011 and now gathering 20 Member States (AT, BE, BG, CZ, DE, EL, ES, FI, FR, IT, LT, LU, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SE, NO and HU), aims at increasing the airlift provision in the EU, developing concrete solutions to increase the efficiency of existing and future fleets and to optimise the use of air transport organisations and structures. Other activities undertaken as part of EATF include the C-27 J Spartan Cooperation CAT B Programme, the Transport Plot Training Capacity AHWG, the Diplomatic Clearance Ad Hoc Working Group (AHWG) and the Operations and Training AHWG.
European 2019 Spartan: List of participating air forces and aircraft
-- Romania: 1 C-27 J, (plus 1 C130, 1 Helicopter, 1 C 27 J for logistic support)
-- Bulgaria: 1 C-27 J
-- Italy: 1 C-27 J
-- Lithuania: 1 C-27 J
-- Slovakia: Maintenance personnel only
-- Observer nations: Greece, United States, Australia
Beside the Spartan Exercise, the C27-J Spartan Cooperation is developing a common type training for aircrews, using the already existing facilities placed in Romania and Italy; a common training for maintenance under the new European standards, a common logistic support and a common avionics upgrade programme to benefit of economies of scale