The Air Force at the European Tactical Airlift Program Course

(To air Force)

From 10 to 22 March, the ETAP-C 24-01 (European Tactical Airlift Program Course) advanced tactical transport course was held at the Zaragoza air base in Spain, organized byEuropean Tactical Airlift Centre (ETAC), in collaboration with the Spanish Army of Air and Space. The Air Force took part in the ETAP with a C-130J aircraft from the 46tha air brigade.

In this edition of the ETAP-C 24-01 course, 7 military tactical transport aircraft from 6 different nations participated.

The course was divided into two phases which initially included a theoretical course of approximately 20 hours, delivered through online lessons, and a second real phase with 9 flight missions of increasing difficulty. This enabled qualified crews to handle complex tactical missions in the future.

During the two-week course, airdrop and airlanding missions were simulated, typical of the tactical use of an asset such as the C-130J. To add complexity to the missions, surface-to-air and air-to-air threats were introduced, thanks to the support of specialized units, to complete the non-permissive tactical scenario.

The operation area, surrounding the Zaragoza base, proved to be optimal for low-altitude flight, and allowed the use of dedicated areas functional to the airdrop of materials and personnel rather than the execution of evasive maneuvers.

The ETAC (European Tactical Airlift Centre), located in Zaragoza, was established in 2017 thanks to the collaboration of 13 European nations. Its main task is to manage training programs aimed at standardizing and harmonizing the military capabilities of the crews of tactical transport assets.