One of the most important international exercises on military air transport, the European Tactical Airlift Program - Training (ETAP-T). In addition to Italy, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, Romania and the United Kingdom also participate.
The event, taking place at the Beja military base, is organized by the Portuguese Air Force together with theEuropean Tactical Airlift Center (ETAC) andEuropean Air Transport Command (EATC) with the aim of training crews for air transport operations in a complex operational context, simulating dynamic situations that could occur in current or future Operational Theaters. Among the main objectives is to improve interoperability and tactical awareness between the various Air Forces, develop European transport capacity in various operations, including crisis operations, and pool experiences and operational procedures.
The exercise provides the ability to achieve flexible training goals in a number of different disciplines for flight crews, maintenance personnel, Intel personnel, CATO personnel - Combined Air Terminal Operation and the paratrooper personnel.
Italy participates with C-130J and personnel of the 46th Air Force Brigade of Pisa of the Italian Air Force together with 20 paratroopers of the brigade thunderbolt of the Italian Army.
Specifically, the missions that the Italian contingent will carry out are air-launch missions, both for personnel at high and low altitude and for light and "heavy" material (CDS), real and simulated. In addition, JPADs (Joint Precision Air Delivery) will be launched, a precision system for the release of airborne supplies which consists of a GPS autonomous guidance system, called AGU (Autonomous Guidance Unit) which allows material to be launched from the aircraft at high altitude and make it land precisely on a predetermined point of impact.
The missions carried out during the ETAP-T will be day and night, with the use of NVG (night vision goggles), with simulations of non-permissive theaters with air-to-air, ground-to-air threats, both with single aircraft and in formation.
There will also be air-boarding / air-boarding operations with engines running, ERO (Engine Running Operations) and COMBAT OFF LOAD procedures applied, i.e. the loads are made to slide on the ground from the ramp of the C-130J while it is still moving on the runway. The training activities will also include take-offs and landings at various Portuguese airports, both on asphalted and semi-prepared runways (grass, dirt).
Training for crews, paratroopers and all military personnel is of the highest value, given the variety of complex missions and interoperability with other armed forces.
Several participating aircraft assets: 1 Italian C-130J, 1 C-130H, 1 C-295M and 4 Portuguese F-16s, 1 Czech C-295M, 2 A400M and 1 German C-130J, 1 A400M and 1 C-130J French, 1 Romanian C-27J, 1 Spanish A400M and 1 English C-130J.
This training commitment also allows the "Folgore" Paratroopers Brigade, which participated with a team of experts from theStudies and Experiences Office and the organic assets of aircraft suppliers, to constitute a versatile, efficient and ready tool, according to criteria of high interoperability with the assets of the Air Force and with the main Alliance countries and partners.