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The training of helicopter pilots will take place in 2010

(BRUSSELS2) The 26 defense ministers, who form the board of directors of the European Defense Agency, decided on Tuesday to launch a European training program for helicopter pilots, based on the model of those developed in France, in Sainte-Léocadie, in September 2008
, and in Gap, in March 2009 . The European program will start in 2010. It will consist of two exercises per year, one focused on individual training, the other on interoperability and operational tactics.

This project is in line with that launched on a Franco-British initiative to increase, in the short term, the availability of helicopters for crisis management operations, notably for IFAS in Afghanistan, which had seen the establishment of a “trust-fund” to finance the reactivation of Mi17 type helicopters to bring them to an operational level. It also complements the initiative launched by NATO at the end of October (1), of a HIP Helicopter Task Force (which aims to develop assistance between a dozen countries of the Atlantic Alliance for pre-deployment training, control and command capabilities andt logistical support or financial assistance).

Basically, we are scrambling a bit with various initiatives for a problem that remains crucial. Europe still has a lot of helicopters in its hangars but few helicopters to deploy in theaters of operation...

(1) Czech Republic, Albania, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Slovakia Spain, Turkey and the UK

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(photo credit: DICOD – Gap training exercise)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).