Successful Hot Blade 2013 exercise draws to a close

Successful Hot Blade 2013 exercise draws to a close

2-Aug-2013 Source: EDA

Participants of HB13 celebrated on 31 July the end of HB13 exercise with an official closing ceremony. More than 750 personnel from five countries (Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal) participated in the successful second edition of the exercise, taking place in Portugal as of 17 July. During HB13 a total of 324 sorties with 962,42 helicopter hours were flown.

HB13 is designed to allow European helicopter crews to practice operations in a hot, high and dusty environment, simulating the challenge and the dynamic conditions that participating forces will encounter when they deploy to a current Theatre of Operation (TO).

Besides the focus on flying in challenging environmental conditions, the exercise is developed to implement “Joint Interoperability Training” including Air Assault, Special Operations Aviation, Combat Service Support, Close Air Support including Urban CAS and Emergency CAS, Convoy/helicopter escorts, Reconnaissance and Security operations, Combat Search and Rescue, Personnel Recovery, Military/Non Military extractions, Medical Evacuation and Casualty Evacuation.

Based on the lessons identified during the exercise, an updated version of the Standard Operation Procedures elaborated within EDA’s Helicopter Exercise Programme will be made available to contributing Member States in the next week. The work on the procedures started in January this year and they might become the baseline for further European cooperation in the field of helicopters.

Feedback from the participating Member States was excellent, highlighting the perfect organisation and support by Portugal as host nation as well as the importance of such multinational training.

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