The ETAP-C 5-16 advanced tactical transport course (European Tactical Airlift Program Course) organized by ETAC took place from 22 to 04 September at the Zaragoza air base in Spain, the European Tactical Transport Center, in coordination with the Spanish Army of the Aire y del Espacio. Italy and the Air Force participate with a C-130J aircraft and personnel from the 46th air brigade.
The ETAC (European Tactical Airlift Center), located in Zaragoza, was born in 2017 thanks to the collaboration of 13 European nations. The task of this center is to manage the training programs designed to standardize and harmonize the military capabilities of the crews of tactical transport assets.
22 different aircraft from 04 nations participate in ETAP-C 8-7: 1 A400M from Germany, 1 C130J from the BATS (Binational Air Transport Squadron, Franco-German unit), 1 C295 from the Czech Republic, 1 C130H from Portugal, 1 C -27-J from Lithuania, 1 A400M, 1 C295 from Spain and 1 C-130J from the 46th air brigade, for a total of 160 soldiers including crews, maintenance, instructors and support personnel.
The crews at the end of the course will graduate wearing the ETAP-C GRADUATED patch. The training includes a theoretical indoctrination through an e-learning course of about 20 hours (online lessons), and the execution of 9 flight missions with gradual increase in difficulty allowing a qualified crew combat ready to manage complex tactical missions in the future. In fact, during these two weeks of the course, air-launch and air-landing missions are carried out, typical of the tactical use of an asset such as the national C-130J, simulating operating in a hostile environment thanks to the support of units specialized in the reproduction of ground-to-air threats. and air-to-air The area surrounding the Zaragoza base, where flight operations take place, is particularly suitable for this type of training because it is sparsely populated, therefore excellent for low-altitude flying, and equipped with dedicated areas necessary for the aviation of materials and men rather than the execution of evasive maneuvers.