Tag: Portuguese Air Force

Real Thaw 2022: The Portuguese Multi-Domain Exercise

No Comments
Real Thaw 2022: The Portuguese Multi-Domain Exercise
The take-off of 2 Portuguese F-16AMs each with the tail paint referring to the squadron to which they belong, 201st Falcões and 301st Jaguares. (All images: Author)

Let’s focus on Real Thaw 2022, a large scale multi-domain exercise led by the Portuguese Air Force.

Real Thaw is an annual military exercise, organized, planned, and executed by the Portuguese Air Force to train and prepare its operational units to carry out missions in the framework of international cooperation at NATO and European Union level.

Coordinated from Air Base 11 in Beja, between June 26 and July 8, 2022, the activities were mostly carried out in central Portugal.

<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80356" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_4/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_4.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 7D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1657026503","copyright":"","focal_length":"105","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.0005","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_4" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Front line where the Portuguese Air Force F-16AM/BM fighters were parked from 201st and 301st Squadron.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-14.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-1.jpg” class=”size-large wp-image-80356″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-1.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-1.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-14.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-15.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-16.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_4.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Front line where the Portuguese Air Force F-16AM/BM fighters from 201st and 301st Squadron were parked.

Objectives

The main goals of Real Thaw 2022 were to provide training to the tactical level forces with the participants focusing on the execution phase, considering the training objectives, constrains and restrictions inherent in military exercises, a special scenario was developed for the drills to meet the following requirements:

  • Provide an operating environment as realistic as possible and typical of current operations in which Portuguese military may participate.
  • Provide appropriate training to various participants taking into account the different types and assets (air, land and sea) and respective training requirements.
  • Provide interoperability between countries and respective means.
<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80357" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_5/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_5.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 7D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1657026534","copyright":"","focal_length":"105","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.000625","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_5" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Tails of the Portuguese F-16s where the special paintings are visible, one of the 201st “Falcões” and two of the 301st “Jaguares”.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-17.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-2.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80357″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-2.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-2.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-17.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-18.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-19.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_5.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Tails of the Portuguese F-16s where the special paintings are visible, one of the 201st “Falcões” and two of the 301st “Jaguares”.

Participants

This year’s Real Thaw was the largest ever in terms of personnel and air assets, despite many air forces are contributing to the NATO operations in eastern Europe following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This eleventh edition of RT22, saw the participation of 54 air assets and 900 military personnel and involved all the Portuguese national armed forces, Air Force, Navy and Army and military forces from France, Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Lithuania, the United States and NATO. This provides further objectives for all participating nations to prepare for international missions in operational scenarios.

Portugal as host nation, participated with a large share of air assets: 10x F-16AM (201st Squadron “Falcões” and 301st Squadron “Jaguares” ); 2x AW-119 Koala ( 552nd Squadron “Zangões”), 1x EH-101 Merlin ( 751st Squadron “Pumas”), 1 C-130H Hercules ( 501st Squadron “Bisontes”), 1 C-295-M Persuader (502nd Squadron “Elefantes”), and 2x P-3C Cup+ Orion (601st Squadron “Lobos”), as well as Navy and Army forces.

<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80367" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_23/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_23.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"7.1","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1656609510","copyright":"","focal_length":"185","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.0004","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_23" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Return of the Rafale with the special painting commemorating the 80th anniversary of the squadron.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-20.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-3.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80367″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-3.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-3.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-20.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-21.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-22.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_23.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Return of the Rafale with the special painting commemorating the 80th anniversary of the squadron.
<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80358" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_2/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_2.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"16","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 7D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1656592325","copyright":"","focal_length":"105","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.003125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_2" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Helicopters present at Real Thaw belonging to Squadron 751 “Pumas” (EH-101) and Squadron 552 Zangões (AW-119).

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-23.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-4.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80358″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-4.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-4.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-23.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-24.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-25.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_2.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Helicopters present at Real Thaw belonging to Squadron 751 “Pumas” (EH-101) and Squadron 552 Zangões (AW-119).
<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80359" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_3/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_3.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"16","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 7D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1656593855","copyright":"","focal_length":"62","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.003125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_3" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Two P-3C Cup+ belonging to Esquadra 601 Lobos that were involved in RT22.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-26.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-5.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80359″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-5.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-5.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-26.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-27.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-28.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_3.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Two P-3C Cup+ belonging to Esquadra 601 Lobos that were involved in RT22.

Belgium participated with 6x F-16AM ( 31st Squadron “Tigers”), France with 5x Rafales (Squadron 2/30 Normandie-Niemen), 1x E-3F AWACS and 1x A-330 MRTT, Spain with 5x EF-2000 Typhoon ( Ala 11, Moron AB ); United States took part with 18 F-16CM (480th Fighter Squadron, 52nd Fighter Wing Spangdahlem AB) and 1x KC-135 Stratotanker and from NATO were present 2x E-3F AWACS. And JTACs (Joint Terminal Attack Controller) from Portugal, Belgium, United States, Netherlands and from Lithuania also participated.

<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80360" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_9/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_9.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1656584439","copyright":"","focal_length":"430","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.000625","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_9" data-image-description data-image-caption="

The new paint of a fully armed Spangdahlem F-16CJ.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-29.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-6.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80360″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-6.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-6.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-29.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-30.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-31.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_9.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The new paint of a fully armed Spangdahlem F-16CM.
<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80361" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_7/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_7.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"20","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1656582968","copyright":"","focal_length":"600","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.003125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_7" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Tactical take-off of two Rafales from Squadron 2/30 Normandie-Niemen in RT22.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-32.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-7.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80361″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-7.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-7.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-32.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-33.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-34.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_7.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Tactical take-off of two Rafales from Squadron 2/30 Normandie-Niemen in RT22.
<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80362" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_13/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_13.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1656599448","copyright":"","focal_length":"600","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.0005","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_13" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Take-off of Belgian Air Force 31 Squadron F-16AM X-Tiger for a training mission in RT22

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-35.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-8.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80362″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-8.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-8.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-35.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-36.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-37.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_13.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Take-off of Belgian Air Force 31 Squadron F-16AM X-Tiger for a training mission in RT22
<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80363" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_19/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_19.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1656605478","copyright":"","focal_length":"279","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.000625","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_19" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Detail of the salute of the Spanish pilot on the returning to the park area.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-38.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-9.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80363″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-9.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-9.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-38.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-39.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-40.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_19.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Detail of the salute of the Spanish pilot on the returning to the park area.

Participating in the ground was a Force Protection Unit and air traffic controllers, while other involved units included the Portuguese army military special OPS team, paratroopers and high-altitude operational jumpers and the Navy Special Actions Detachment, and a large number of militaries from maintenance areas, support, operations, information, audio-visual and public affairs relations all took part.

Main Missions

The missions were essentially air defense, convoy protection in humanitarian missions, close air support to ground forces and special operations, extraction operations of military and civilian elements, cargo and paratroopers drop operations, combat Search and Rescue, medical evacuations, civil – military cooperation, conventional guided and high accuracy ordinance attacks, and conventional attacks on maritime forces.

During this year’s iteration, aerial refueling missions were also carried out to increase the flight time of each aircraft.

<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80364" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_14/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_14.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1656605331","copyright":"","focal_length":"389","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.0008","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_14" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Taxiing of two Portuguese Air Force F-16AMs.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-41.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-10.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80364″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-10.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-10.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-41.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-42.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-43.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_14.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Taxiing of two Portuguese Air Force F-16AMs.

Numbers of Real Thaw

A total of 436 military missions were carried out on the Real Thaw, the air assets flew around 750 hours, around 15,000 liters of water were distributed, and 16,500 meals were served.

<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80366" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_11/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_11.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"20","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1656599209","copyright":"","focal_length":"150","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.003125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_11" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Tactical take-off of the C-295M.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-44.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-11.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80366″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-11.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-11.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-44.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-45.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-46.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_11.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Tactical take-off of the C-295M.

Conclusions

Since 2009, the Portuguese Air Command has conducted the Real Thaw exercise series annually. The favorable meteorological conditions make Real Thaw the ideal venue for NATO Allies to develop and hone flexible capabilities for current and future challenges.

Real Thaw is a fundamental exercise for the Portuguese military since it allows the air force to operate jointly within the Army, the Navy and other international forces to develop a better understanding of multi-national and Multi-service military operations. This level of preparations is vital for the successful of any assignment that the Portuguese forces might be called upon to perform and the Real Thaw provide the opportunity for crews to perform, practice and execute complex missions that currently are extremely important in the international area.

<img data-lazy-fallback="1" data-attachment-id="80365" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/08/12/real-thaw-22/realthaw2022_21/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_21.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"7.1","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1656608810","copyright":"","focal_length":"600","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.0008","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="RealThaw2022_21" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Arrival of the Portuguese F-16BM with tiger-painted drop tanks.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-47.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-12.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-80365″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-12.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-12.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-47.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-48.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/real-thaw-2022-the-portuguese-multi-domain-exercise-49.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/RealThaw2022_21.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Arrival of the Portuguese F-16BM with tiger-painted drop tanks.

The Author wishes to thank the Public Relations of the Portuguese Air Force for the support provided in the preparation of this story.

About Jorge Ruivo
Jorge Ruivo is a freelance journalist based in Marinha Grande, Portugal. Since 2000, he has contributed with photography works and articles on the topic of Military Aviation published by the Portuguese press. More recently he has started working with various international media outlets publishing articles and photographs in several magazines, including Combat Aircraft and Airforces Monthly. His main areas of interest are the Portuguese Air Force, its flight squadrons, foreign deployments and military exercises.

ETAP-T 2022 – The European Tactical Airlift Program Training

No Comments
ETAP-T 2022 – The European Tactical Airlift Program Training
Close-up shot of the Spanish Air Force A-400M taking off belonging to the Ala 31 based at Zaragoza. (All images: Author)

Everything you need to know about ETAP-T 2022.

From Jun. 6 to Jun. 17, 2022, the Portuguese Air Force has conducted ETAP-T 2022 multinational exercise, a cargo transport aircraft exercise within the scope of the European Tactical Airlift Centre (ETAC).

The participating forces deployed at Beja Air Base 11, Portugal, with missions planned for the central and southern areas of mainland Portugal, with a concern to reduce their impact on the environment and the population. The European Tactical Airlift Programme (ETAP) was developed with the view of improving the capability of European countries, with the aim of achieving better operational interoperability between nations defending European airspace, the development of tactics, common agreed procedures for better operability and transport operational challenges of modern and combined joint pilot.

<img data-attachment-id="79917" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/27/etap-t-2022/jorgeruivo-foto13/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/JorgeRuivo-Foto13.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,670" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"18","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1654883057","copyright":"","focal_length":"180","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.003125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="JorgeRuivo Foto13" data-image-description data-image-caption="

The icon of each Air Base is its own control tower, here with the A-400M of the Spanish Air Force

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-11.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-1.jpg” class=”size-large wp-image-79917″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-1.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”394″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-1.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-11.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-12.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-13.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/JorgeRuivo-Foto13.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The icon of each Air Base is its own control tower, here with the A-400M of the Spanish Air Force

ETAP is divided into three different programs: European Tactical Airlift Programme – Course (ETAP-C); European Tactical Airlift Programme – Instructor Course (ETAP-I); European Tactical Airlift Programme – Training (ETAP-T), and it is based at Zaragoza, Spain.

ETAP-C provides aircrews with a comprehensive course in airlift tactics, ETAP-I provides instructor pilots with greater experience and knowledge about the different types of transport aircraft that exist and ETAP-T is a training exercise to prepare the crews of tactical airlift squadrons to carry out airlift missions.

<img data-attachment-id="79919" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/27/etap-t-2022/jorgeruivo-foto8/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/JorgeRuivo-Foto8.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"25","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1654880949","copyright":"","focal_length":"499","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.005","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="JorgeRuivo Foto8" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Take-off of the Czech Republic C-295M with the parking area in the background as well as the construction of the new hangar for the future KC-390s for the Portuguese Air Force.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-14.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-2.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79919″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-2.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-2.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-14.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-15.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-16.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/JorgeRuivo-Foto8.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Take-off of the Czech Republic C-295M with the parking area in the background as well as the construction of the new hangar for the future KC-390s for the Portuguese Air Force.

Along with the Portuguese Armed Forces assets (C-130H, C-295M, Navy and Army) ETAP-T saw the involvement of aircraft from the Czech Republic (C-295M), France (KC-130 and A-400M ), Germany (A-400M), Italy (KC-130J), Romania (C-27J), Spain (A-400M) and the UK (C-130J) as well as ETAC and Belgium Intel Officers. Four F-16AM and one P-3C from Portuguese Air Force also took part in the drills.

<img data-attachment-id="79925" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/27/etap-t-2022/jorgeruivo-photo4/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/JorgeRuivo-Photo4.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"6.3","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1654854647","copyright":"","focal_length":"360","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.0003125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="JorgeRuivo Photo4" data-image-description data-image-caption="

One of the parking areas at the Beja Air Base where the exercise aircraft were deployed.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-17.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-3.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79925″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-3.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-3.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-17.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-18.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-19.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/JorgeRuivo-Photo4.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

One of the parking areas at the Beja Air Base where the exercise aircraft were deployed.
<img data-attachment-id="79924" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/27/etap-t-2022/jorgeruivo-photo2/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/JorgeRuivo-Photo2.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"13","credit":"","camera":"Canon EOS 7D","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1654861470","copyright":"","focal_length":"42","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.0015625","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="JorgeRuivo Photo2" data-image-description data-image-caption="

French Air Force A-400M from Transport Squadron 1/61 Touraine

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-20.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-4.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79924″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-4.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-4.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-20.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-21.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-22.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/JorgeRuivo-Photo2.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

French Air Force A-400M from Transport Squadron 1/61 Touraine
<img data-attachment-id="79918" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/27/etap-t-2022/jorgeruivo-foto7/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/JorgeRuivo-Foto7.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"25","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1654865726","copyright":"","focal_length":"230","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.005","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="JorgeRuivo Foto7" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Front line where the large A-400M present in the ETAP-T exercise were parked.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-23.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-5.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79918″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-5.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-5.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-23.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-24.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-25.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/JorgeRuivo-Foto7.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

Front line where the large A-400M present in the ETAP-T exercise were parked.

The ETAP-T 22 had also the goal to improve the readiness of the participating forces to accomplish missions assigned to them in any theatre of operations within the European alliance and, obviously, increase interoperability among the various participating forces.

It was also allocated to the Portuguese Air Force responsibility for producing European doctrine for the joint operation of tactical airlift aircraft. The result of this initiative, innovative within the EDA, is preparing a tactical manual which will standardize transport aircraft operating procedures in any operating theatre.

<img data-attachment-id="79923" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/27/etap-t-2022/jorgeruivo-foto19/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/JorgeRuivo-Foto19.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"20","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1654885943","copyright":"","focal_length":"600","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.003125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="JorgeRuivo Foto19" data-image-description data-image-caption="

19- German Air Force A-400M performs a cargo drop mission during ETAP-T

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-26.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-6.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79923″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-6.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-6.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-26.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-27.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-28.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/JorgeRuivo-Foto19.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

German Air Force A-400M performs a cargo drop mission during ETAP-T

The concept of the exercise is developed to “provide training of a joint and combined and ensure interoperability among the participating forces,” thus enabling exchange of knowledge and experience essential in any operating theatre.

<img data-attachment-id="79920" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/27/etap-t-2022/jorgeruivo-foto11/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/JorgeRuivo-Foto11.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"18","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1654882335","copyright":"","focal_length":"160","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.003125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="JorgeRuivo Foto11" data-image-description data-image-caption="

The usual presence of the C-295M of the 502nd Squadron “Elefantes”, from the Portuguese Air Force, departs with a tactical take-off.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-29.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-7.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79920″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-7.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-7.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-29.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-30.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-31.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/JorgeRuivo-Foto11.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

The usual presence of the C-295M of the 502nd Squadron “Elefantes”, from the Portuguese Air Force, departs with a tactical take-off.

Major Rosa Linda [second name withheld for security reasons] from the Italian Air Force, highlighted the importance of this type of international exercise, saying that “as this type of mission has to be carried out in a place where there is a “clean” mission area, Portugal is one in which it is easier to carry out these missions. In Italy it is difficult to find the places where you can get this kind of mission”. ETAP-T allows different participating countries to adapt the execution of missions to different circumstances they are used to.

<img data-attachment-id="79922" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/27/etap-t-2022/jorgeruivo-foto16/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/JorgeRuivo-Foto16.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"29","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1654884465","copyright":"","focal_length":"389","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.0125","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="JorgeRuivo Foto16" data-image-description data-image-caption="

KC-130J of the 46th Brigata Aerea of the Italian Air Force prepares to integrate a training mission in ETAP-T.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-32.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-8.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79922″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-8.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-8.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-32.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-33.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-34.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/JorgeRuivo-Foto16.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

KC-130J of the 46th Brigata Aerea of the Italian Air Force prepares to integrate a training mission in ETAP-T.

During the exercise various scenarios will be recreated, respecting the objective of the mission to fulfil, as well as the specific features of the tactical airlift and training requirements, such as:

  • Air-to-Air Training Missions
  • Tactical Air Transport Missions;
  • Logistical support to combat units (eg air cargo transport);
  • Recognition and security operations.
  • Close air support (in urban environments and in emergency situations);
  • Cargo and Parachute Drops;
  • Extraction of military and non-military elements;
  • Medical evacuations (MEDEVAC and CASEVAC);

The creation of conditions to support 750 troops deployed in ETAP-T 2022 requires a long period of preparation and implementation of the vast logistics structure.

In ETAP-T 2022, fulfilling the objective of knowledge sharing and exchange of experiences was introduced in the Spare Parts Maintenance Operations Centre (MOC). In order to “reduce the logistics” and avoid duplication of equipment, Spare Parts translated into a common area equipped with tools and aircraft parts, available to all maintenance of the various participating nations. This proximity, as well as foster the spirit of unity, also allowed standardization of procedures and the exchange of know-how.

<img data-attachment-id="79921" data-permalink="https://theaviationist.com/2022/06/27/etap-t-2022/jorgeruivo-foto15/" data-orig-file="https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/JorgeRuivo-Foto15.jpg" data-orig-size="1200,800" data-comments-opened="0" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"8","credit":"Jorge Ruivo","camera":"Canon EOS 5D Mark III","caption":"","created_timestamp":"1654883795","copyright":"","focal_length":"600","iso":"400","shutter_speed":"0.0008","title":"","orientation":"1"}" data-image-title="JorgeRuivo Foto15" data-image-description data-image-caption="

F-16AM belonging to the 201 and 301 Squadrons that are normally based in Monte Real AB also took part in the drills.

” data-medium-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-35.jpg” data-large-file=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-9.jpg” loading=”lazy” class=”size-large wp-image-79921″ src=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-9.jpg” alt width=”706″ height=”471″ srcset=”https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-9.jpg 706w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-35.jpg 460w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-36.jpg 128w, https://getyourpilotslicense.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/etap-t-2022-the-european-tactical-airlift-program-training-37.jpg 768w, https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/JorgeRuivo-Foto15.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 706px) 100vw, 706px”>

F-16AM belonging to the 201 and 301 Squadrons that are normally based in Monte Real AB also took part in the drills.

During ETAP- Joint Precision System (JPADS) which is an airdrop system which uses GPS, with steerable parachutes, and an onboard computer to direct cargo to an impact in a fall point designated drop zone, was used. This innovative process thus offers several benefits, including an increase in reception areas and in charge of precision, which benefits the receiver, still allowing the aircraft and their crews to be more protected from possible attacks during the launches.

When the ETAC Commander Col. Juan Gonzalez was questioned why the exercise was being conducted in Beja, he said: “more than the climate, the airspace and the experience, it is the confidence we have in all the units of the Portuguese Air Force and the Portuguese Armed Forces that have demonstrated over the years that they are capable of producing the type of advanced training that the crews of aircraft are most missed in their units

Internationally, there is the completion of a training plan and training of crews, meeting of air transport regulations deemed appropriate for the proper fulfilment of the mission under the European alliance.

The overall objective is to manage and coordinate the tactical airlift capability of all involved resources as effectively and efficiently as possible. For this, the continuity of this military exercise is leading to fulfil this purpose.

The Author wishes to thank the Public Relations of the Portuguese Air Force for the support provided in the preparation of this article.

About Jorge Ruivo
Jorge Ruivo is a freelance journalist based in Marinha Grande, Portugal. Since 2000, he has contributed with photography works and articles on the topic of Military Aviation published by the Portuguese press. More recently he has started working with various international media outlets publishing articles and photographs in several magazines, including Combat Aircraft and Airforces Monthly. His main areas of interest are the Portuguese Air Force, its flight squadrons, foreign deployments and military exercises.

Advanced Search And Rescue Exercise (ASAREX) 2021 At Lajes Air Base

No Comments
The US Coast Guard HC130J Super Hercules from CGAS Elizabeth City, reg 2012, that took part in ASAREX 2021. (All images, credit: LtCol / Ret`d PoAF Miguel Santos, APS – Associação Portugal Spotters)

ASAREX is an exercise held annually by the Portuguese Air Force at Lajes Air Base.

ASAREX is a SAR (Search and Rescue) exercise organized each year since 2015 (only exception in 2020, when it was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic) by the Portuguese Air Force at Air Base nº 4, Lajes Air Base, Terceira island, in the Azores. This year’s iteration took place from July 26 through 30, 2021, and gathered several foreign and domestic participants.

For what concerns the foreign participants, the Royal Canadian Air Force, sent 1x CC-130H Hercules from CFB Greenwood, reg 130333, radio callsigns “TSKR333” / “GRNWD56” / “CFC2103”, along with a SAR TECH team; the New York Air Guard of the U.S. Air Force, at Francis S Gabreski airport, Long Island, sent 1x HC-130J Super Hercules reg 18-5879/LI, with a parajumper team, that used callsign “KING65”; the U.S. Coast Guard sent 1x HC-130J Super Hercules from CGAS Elizabeth City, reg 2012, with callsign “CG2012”.

The apron at Lajes during ASAREX.

The Portuguese Air Force took part with:. 1x 601 Sq “Lobos” P-3C Cup+ from Beja AB, reg 14810 using callsign “Orion47”; 1x 501 Sq “Bisontes” C130H from Montijo AB, reg 16805 using callsign “HERKY45”; 1x C295 502 Sq “Elefantes” drawn from the Azores Air detachment, reg 16707, using callsign “SNOUT46”; 2x EH101 Merlin helicopters from 751 Sq “Pumas”, drawn from the Azores Air detachment, regs 19601 and 19606 using “MERLN57” and “WIZRD55” callsigns.

P-3C Cup+ from Beja AB.

Other Portuguese units detached several personnel and even a military ship:

  • The Portuguese Navy with one frigate;
  • The Portuguese Border patrol (SEF);
  • The Portuguese National Guard (GNR);
  • The Portuguese Azorean Civilian Protection force and Fire brigade (SRPCBA);
  • The Portuguese Maritime Police.

Portugal is responsible for the SAR mission in Portuguese territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) and particularly around the Azores Archipelago of nine islands plus the Atlantic vastness that falls under the Santa Maria Oceanic FIR, where several air corridors cross from east to west, as well as dozens of shipping lanes that thread their path through this geographical area. Adding to that the unstable weather conditions in the Atlantic basin, featuring cold fronts, lows, tropical storms and associated high force gale winds, all year round and we have all the ingredients for distress calls, missing vessels, shipwrecks or ill people in ships or yachts.

Just to have an idea, the Santa Maria FIR covers an open ocean area of 5 million km2, larger than the entire European Union which has an overland area of 4.423 million sqkm.

This was the perfect setting that brought together these military forces, each responsible for SAR missions in their respective territories, taking the chance to train together for live missions, refining TTP protocols – tactics, techniques and procedures.

ASAREX exercise provides an important opportunity for crews to share experiences and train in a maritime and coastal environment, sometimes in extreme weather conditions as was the case in May 2015, when the exercise was interrupted due to a real situation developing in the atlantic, when some yachts from a regatta sank due to a storm, with several people being rescued in rough seas and strong winds conditions.

Exercise details

Jul. 26, Day 1, was reserved for arrivals and to welcome all crews;
Jul. 27, Day 2, saw a morning brief being staged with the exercise kicking off in the afternoon and evening;
Jul. 28, Day 3, activities were split into two exercise periods, morning and evening;
Jul. 29, Day 4, the last exercise day, with a morning mission, overall debriefing and farewell notes;
Jul. 30, Day 5, saw participants depart.

A morning and evening exercise was practiced on day 2 and 3 except for days 1 and 4 when just one mission was flown.

HC-130J Super Hercules reg 18-5879/LI.

Several different scenarios were arranged as part of ASAREX.

The first scenario, on Day 1, saw the participating units respond to an aircraft crash in the ocean. The USAF HC130J flew straight through to the zone, on arrival from home base, with the PJs jumping to the water to assist the victims. Same with the Canadian SAR techs. The remaining participants were involved in the search, dropping liferafts (simulated or real).

The second scenario simulated an accident in Pico island with missing/victims. The PoAF dispatched the C295 with the Portuguese Civilian Protection plus the Portuguese National guard taking part in the search using search dogs. This was a high altitude recovery exercise taking advantage of Pico island`s 2,351 meters altitude.

The third scenario focused on a simulated fire aboard a passenger ferry ship. A shipwreck rescue involving dropping liferafts and other life saving devices with the Canadian SAR Techs jumping to the water to assist.

The fourth scenario simulated the response to an aircraft ditching off the south coast of Terceira island. This exercise saw the involvement of the PoAF Merlin helicopter and also the USAF Pjs.

Portuguese EH-101 Merlin.

Other ASAREX events included the rescue of patients from ships or victims from cliffs where missions were performed by EH101 Merlin helicopters.

In the end, with all missions successfully accomplished, crews were pleased with their involvement in ASAREX 2021 and, as usual, there were lessons to be learned, allowing all the participants to improve their skills to fine tune the art of Search and Rescue.

The next exercise is slated for 2022 with dates TBA.

A big thank you to our friend and contributor LtCol / Ret`d PoAF Miguel Santos, APS – Associação Portugal Spotters, who provided all the photographs and details about the exercise.  Moreover, this article would not have been possible without the kind help of the following persons: Brigadier-General João Pereira, Azores Air Zone Commander; Colonel Filipe Azinheira, Air Base 4 Commander; Senior Master Sergeant José Pinto da Silva, Air Base 4 Meteo Office; Master Sergeant Iolanda Pinto da Silva, Air Base 4 Meteo Office; Jaap Dubbeldam, P3 Orion Research Group, for providing “The Aurora” link; Dr João Toste, APS member, for providing the details about the operational zone areas. Last and not least, the Portuguese Air Force, for hosting this important exercise and allowing all photo captions.

David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.

Take A Look At These Amazing Photos Of Yesterday’s NATO Tiger Meet 2021 Spotter Day

No Comments
Some of the highlights of the NTM2021 Spotter Day. (All images David Parody unless otherwise stated)

The second Spotter Day of NATO Tiger Meet (NTM) 2021 was held yesterday at Beja Air Base, Portugal. And here are some gorgeous shots.

The flying segment of this year’s edition of NATO Tiger Meet (NTM) 2021, organized by the Portuguese Air Force, at Beja Air Base, ended today, May 13, 2021, at lunch time. Some transports have already arrived at Air Base No. 11 (BA11) to pick things up as the drills officially finishes tomorrow.

We have already provided a lot of details about the exercise in a previous post we published after our correspondent David Parody, attended the exercise’s Media Day on May 3. David went again to Beja AB on May 12, for the second Spotter Day arranged by the Portuguese Air Force and NTM 2021’s host unit, the Squadron 301 “Jaguares”.

According to the Portuguese Air Force, about 160 photography and military aviation enthusiasts of various nationalities attended the NTM 2021 Spotter Day.

During the morning, they had the opportunity to watch and photograph an “Elephant Walk”, with 23 aircraft taxiing down the runway before take off.

NTM 2021 Elephant Walk. (Image credit: Portuguese Air Force)

During the afternoon, the spotter’s saw more take-offs and landings, including those of the F-16s from Poland, Greece and Portugal, the F-18s from Switzerland and the F-2000 Typhoons from Italy. Along with the fast jets, the Spotter Day featured some pretty interesting helicopter action, involving the Italian AB.212ICO and HH-101A Caesar helicopters of the 21° Gruppo (Squadron) of the Italian Air Force, which operated with the Portuguese EH-101 Merlin of the Esquadra 751.

The Italian Air Force HH-101A
Nice trio of helicopters, including an AB-212ICO of the 21° Gruppo.

Surprise visit was the French Air Force E-3 which just did a flypast. Swiss Pilatus PC-24 and Portuguese C-295 were other much appreciated visitors. Anyway, in this article you can find some of the highlights photographed by David Parody at Beja AB.

F-16 of the 301 Sqn of the Portuguese Air Force.
Portuguese Tiger
Shaka sign
Italian Typhoon. Note the centerline Litening pod.
The Italian Air Force F-2000 of the 12° Gruppo.
HAF F-16 on the go.
Portuguese F-16.
HAF pilot close up.
Hellenic Air Force F-16.
Polish Viper launching.
Special Colored F-16 of the host unit.
Portuguese EH-101.

David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.

We Have Been To NATO Tiger Meet 2021 And Here Are The Most Interesting Aircraft We Found There.

No Comments
The special F-16 of the Portuguese Air Force. (All images: David Parody)

Our correspondent David Parody went to Beja, Portugal, for NATO Tiger Meet 2021.

NATO Tiger Meet (NTM) is one of Europe’s most famous and loved among the aviation enthusiasts community, multinational exercise attended by squadrons sporting Tiger (or feline) emblems. As often explained, although it usually includes Spotters/Media Day and, sometimes, an Open Day for general public, NTM is not an air show: all types of air-to-air and air-to-ground and a wide variety of support missions are part of each Tiger Meeting, whose goals are the “creation of a high-level tactical exercise, where participants can train realistically; practice day and night operations in a multi-domain environment, against air, land and sea threats; maximize integration and interoperability with NATO members & Partnership for Peace Members, and share learning points; creation of an environment promoting the well-known “Tiger Spirit”, which respects the NATO Tiger Association Traditions and Customs.”

However, the main difference between NTM and many other “traditional” exercises is that many aircraft taking part in the maneuvers, at least one (but usually more than one) per participating unit, sport Tiger markings, Special Tails or flamboyant tiger-themed paint schemes.

This year’s edition, NTM 21, organized by the Portuguese Air Force, is underway from May 2 to May 14, 2021,  at Air Base No. 11 (BA11), in Beja. The Portuguese airbase was planned to host the NTM in 2020, but the exercise last year was cancelled because of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Commanding Officer, Major Driller, of 301 Squadron.

NTM21 host unit is the Squadron 301 “Jaguares” of the Portuguese Air Force. At NTM 2019, which took place in Mont-de-Marsan, France, the Portuguese unit, flying the F-16 was awarded both the “Silver” trophy Tiger ”and the“ Tiger Spirit ”award.

NTM 2021 is underway at Beja AB, Portugal.

Nine “Tiger” squadrons from 8 allied nations for a total of more than 50 aircraft and around 1,000 military personnel are scheduled to take part in this year’s Tiger Meet that, as usual, will also be supported by several “external” units, including Esquadra 751, performing troop insertion with its EH-101 Merlin helicopters; and the civilian Cobham Aviation with its Special Mission Falcon 20 jet.

Portuguese F16 MLU with squadrons 50 anniversary tail.

The Game Plan

The NTM’s program is basically always the same: two waves are flown, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The first ones are usually the most complex COMAO (Composite Air Operations) and the second ones are the so-called Shadow/Panther missions (the first are performed during the day the second are night missions), smaller scale events which usually involve junior pilots. There are also some night operations, this year planned on May 4, 5 and 6, 2021.

Portuguese F16 MLU with squadrons 50 anniversary tail.

COMAO missions cover the entire spectrum of air operations with broad force involvement as part of the same package: from the air defense of a specific area to the offensive operations against all types of targets (both maritime and land), all the missions require the participants to cooperate and face threats to ingress and egress a simulated contested airspace.

Swiss Air Force F/A-18C Hornet with NTM tail.

Shadow and Panther missions are smaller scale missions, where specific operations will be trained. Some examples are: CAS (Close Air Support), in coordination with ground troops; Vehicle Interdiction or Hostage Rescue, where a helicopter will command the operation with the support of fighters; Basic Fighter Maneuvers (BFM) and DACT (Dissimilar Air Combat Training).

The Italian special Eurofighter Typhoon.
Tiger tail.

Tiger Meetings also offer some nice exchange opportunity for aircrew to fly orientation missions aboard allied aircraft.

Media Day

On May 3, 2021, our contributor David Parody had the opportunity to attend the Media Day at Beja and shoot the photographs you can find in this article.

Among the most interesting, eye-catching liveries of NTM 21, we can’t but mention the one of the Italian Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon with the 12° Gruppo (Squadron) with the Siberian/White Tiger as well as the host nation’s F-16 MLU jets: the full Tiger special color of the Esq 301 along with the other F-16 Viper sporting the 50th anniversary tail.

The Tiger-themed F-2000A of the Italian Air Force.
Polish Air Force F-16C Block 52+
Swiss Air Force F/A-18C Hornet with NTM tail landing after a mission.
Greek Air Force F-16C Block 52+ with NTM paint scheme.

David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.

Portuguese F-16s Deployed to Malbork, Poland, For NATO Enhanced Baltic Air Policing

No Comments
File photo of a Portuguese F-16. (Image credit: PoAF)

The Portuguese Air Force has deployed four F-16M Vipers from Monte Real Air Base, Portugal, to 22 Baza Lotnictwa Taktycznego at Malbork Air Base in Poland, along with around 95 military personnel, on Sept. 4, 2020. The goal of the deployment is to conduct training with the NATO allies in the region. The initiative is organized as part of NATO’s Assurance Measures and the deployment is expected to last for around two months.

This is yet another deployment of the Portuguese aircraft to Malbork as a similar operation took place in March last year.

The NATO Aircom press release quotes the Portuguese detachment commander who said that:

(…) F-16 “Vipers” are capable to conduct multi-role missions both Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground, which offers great flexibility and provides for first-rate training opportunities with our friends. My team is scheduled to start the deployment on September 1 and our jets will arrive on September 4. Our F-16 “Vipers” are capable to conduct multi-role missions both Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground, which offers great flexibility and provides for first-rate training opportunities with our friends.

The deployment of the F-16s was supported by a C-130H of the Esq.501 from Montijo. On its way to Malbork, the transport aircraft was intercepted and welcomed by two Polish MiG-29 Fulcrums.

After their stay in Poland, the Portuguese Vipers will return to their original base in Monte Real, to continue their air policing efforts in the Portuguese airspace. BTW, on Aug. 28, the PoAF F-16s intercepted one of the B-52s undertaking the tour of Europe as part of the Allied Sky mission.

A PoAF F-16 escorts a B-52 of the 5th BW deployed to RAF Fairford. (Image credit: PoAF)