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  1. #1
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    EDA exercise Hot Blade 2013

    According to the September issue of Jane's IDR the Air Corps was to send AW139s to participate in this year's exercise in Portugal, however it states "Ireland pulled it's planned Agusta Westland AW139 deployment at the last minute". Does anyone know if this is correct, if so. it sems a pity as there was good participation by Austria, Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, and Portugal, with observers from many countries, and mentors from Britain and Sweden.

    If it is true maybe it is a good sign for the future.
    Last edited by ias; 25th September 2013 at 21:44.

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  3. #2
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    Shame, looks exactly like the sort of exercises the AC should be participating in.

    Hopefully they can participate next year.

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    Wouldn't bet on it! Last minute is pretty accurate though. In fact a minute is being overly generous. In fact you know the bit in Armageddon when they were trying to disarm the nuclear weapon with 30 secs on the clock - that's more realistic.

  5. #4
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    Oh PH do tell....... Love a good rumour , DOD penny pinching or peace and neutrality and nasty EDA ... ????

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Booted Man View Post
    Oh PH do tell....... Love a good rumour , DOD penny pinching or peace and neutrality and nasty EDA ... ????
    No reason apparently given JBM just a DoD no at the eleventh hour. At least the helicopters weren't at the Portugese border! No record of a Government or Ministerial decision either as far as I can see so probably didn't get that far.

    Forgive me if I'm not that enthused about the new White Paper and the potential for AC & NS assets to serve overseas following this episode. This was a perfect entry level EX for the AC to be involved in with tailormade scenarios for participating nations depending on their aircraft and crews capabilities.


    BTW EDA are a big player now on the European scene as they seek to get European militaries to pool resources. Initial soundbites from Ireland to EDA were good so I think there was confusion at the last minute withdrawal. Really promising opportunity - shame really...! Suppose there's always next year.......!

    http://www.eda.europa.eu/info-hub/ne...se-in-portugal
    Last edited by Pure Hover; 28th September 2013 at 19:24.

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  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pure Hover View Post
    No reason apparently given JBM just a DoD no at the eleventh hour. At least the helicopters weren't at the Portugese border! No record of a Government or Ministerial decision either as far as I can see so probably didn't get that far.

    Forgive me if I'm not that enthused about the new White Paper and the potential for AC & NS assets to serve overseas following this episode. This was a perfect entry level EX for the AC to be involved in with tailormade scenarios for participating nations depending on their aircraft and crews capabilities.


    BTW EDA are a big player now on the European scene as they seek to get European militaries to pool resources. Initial soundbites from Ireland to EDA were good so I think there was confusion at the last minute withdrawal. Really promising opportunity - shame really...! Suppose there's always next year.......!

    http://www.eda.europa.eu/info-hub/ne...se-in-portugal
    Id say it was down to cost, the same reason 2 ISTAR Coy didn't take part in any Austro-German battlegroup exercise in Germany last year.

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    Last edited by Dogwatch; 29th September 2013 at 11:44.

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  11. #8
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    https://www.eda.europa.eu/info-hub/p...teroperability

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    Hot Blade 2018 kicks off with focus on interoperability
    Beja Airbase, Portugal - 08 May, 2018

    HOT BLADE 2018, the 12th helicopter exercise organised under the umbrella of the European Defence Agency’s (EDA) Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP), kicked off yesterday 7th May at Beja airbase in Portugal. It will run until 24 May and involve a total of 29 air assets and crews from six countries: Portugal, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia and the Netherlands. Representatives from Austria, the Czech Republic and Italy will also take part as observers. A Distinguished Visitors Day (DVD) will take place on 22 May.

    HOT BLADE 2018 will allow crews from 21 helicopters and 8 fixed wing assets (including 6 Portuguese F-16 fighters), ground troops, EW simulator/emulators operators and Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) to practice operations in a hot, high and dusty environment replicating the challenging conditions that participants’ forces are expected to encounter when deploying to a theatre of operation.

    The exercise’s main focus is on enhancing interoperability at the tactical level between helicopter units by using the Composite Air Operations (COMAO) concept in a combined, joint, realistic and challenging environment.

    It is the 4th time that the exercise is hosted by the Portuguese Air Force, under EDA’s Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP), following three earlier successful editions that took place between 2012 and 2014. This year, the Hot Blade 2018 exercise will be carried out in the area surrounding Beja Air Force Base, located in the Southern part of Portugal.

    The use of EDA HEP Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), the application of best practices gathered during the 11 previous helicopter exercises led by the EDA and the availability on location of a Mentor Team will support the standardisation of planning processes and helicopter tactical procedures amongst participating crews.

    This year’s training is focussed on missions in a dusty, hot and mountainous environment. To ensure the maximum levels of flight safety, scheduled activities will follow a progressive approach. Tactical training (e.g. formation flights, NVG, tactical formation) will be performed during the first days, while national training requirements enabling the performance of demanding day and night Composite Air Operation (COMAO) missions will be addressed during the last days of the exercise.


    More information:
    EDA Helicopter Initiatives Project Page
    Factsheet Exercice HOT BLADE 2018

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  13. #9
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    As an aside, seeing Germany involved in this, did someone in their Defence Department decide to Troll the UK by giving the NH 90's the class name "Sealion"?

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  15. #10
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    https://www.eda.europa.eu/info-hub/p...opter-training

    HOT BLADE 2018 improved joint and combined helicopter training
    Beja Airbase, Portugal - 15 June, 2018

    Helicopter training exercise HOT BLADE 2018, organised in May under the European Defence Agency’s Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP) and hosted by the Portuguese Air Force at Beja airbase, was officially closed on 23 May by the Director of the Portuguese Air Operations, Brigadier General Rui de Freitas and José Pablo Romera, EDA Project Officer Rotary Wing.

    With 29 air assets flying a total of more than 550 hours and around 1,200 military participants, the exercise (the 12th held under the HEP umbrella) demonstrated once again the immense added value of collaborative multinational training for participating States’ aircrews, maintenance staff, troops and support personnel under very demanding (hot, dusty, mountainous) conditions.

    Six Member States (Belgium, Germany, Hungary, The Netherlands, Slovenia and Portugal) deployed assets, including 21 helicopters of 7 different types (A-109, AS-532, EH-101, CH-47, MI-17, NH-90, SA-316). The first week included a complete day of briefings covering flight safety, expected battle rhythm, host nation support, and a helicopter academics session to refresh COMAO Mission Planning procedures. This theoretical element was followed by operational briefings designed to familiarise aircrews with Beja airbase, rehearse emergency procedures with firefighters and Special Operations Forces (SOF), get familiar with the different helicopter types and ensure high safety levels. The first week was completed with individual trainings, helicopter operations flown by day and by night, fighter evasion missions carried out with Portuguese F-16 fighter jets and helicopter firing drills. All participating Member States were able to reach their national training objectives.

    During the second week, flying crews performed complex missions in a demanding but realistic environment, making full use of the dusty and mountainous surroundings and shooting ranges. As the exercise advanced, the multinational crews conducted ever more complex coalition level trainings culminating in the planning and execution of several Composite Air Operation (COMAO) missions. These covered a spectrum of advanced helicopter manoeuvre tactics including a large formation of helicopters with embarked troops, integration of Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) teams and paratroopers jumping from a Mi-17 helicopter and a C-295 aircraft, all set against complex threats such as SA-8 SAM, missiles and F-16 fighter jets.

    Six instructors from Austria, Germany, Sweden and the UK, previously trained in EDA’s Helicopter Tactics Instructors Course (HTIC), formed the HOT BLADE 2018 Mentor Team. It supported the multinational crews in the preparation and execution of the COMAO missions and identified valuable Lessons Learned to be applied in future exercises. Other lessons will be drawn from a more in-depth analysis of the exercise results which is currently underway.

    The experience of planning, preparing and flying together in combined and joint missions is a critical requirement for maintaining operational readiness at a realistic level. With most nations facing budgetary constraints, such level of advanced training is almost impossible to achieve on a national basis. In addition to the cost benefits, the exercise also considerably improves interoperability which has become the trademark of the Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP) and which was also underlined by the Exercise Director in his closing remarks: “Together we are stronger”.
    HOT BLADE 2018 proved to be another important milestone on the way to meeting the HEP’s objective, namely to continuously improve Europe’s operational helicopter capability. The next ‘Blade’ exercise is scheduled to take place in the Czech Republic in May 2019.

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  17. #11
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    I think somebody realised that green painted executive helicopters would struggle to cope with many of the scenarios described in that exercise. The AW139s are not deployable in their present form so there's very little point in doing the training.

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  19. #12
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    while the 139 can carry a 105 underslung, ammo, crew etc etc. It will not carry it any meaningful distance

    Edited
    Last edited by DeV; 19th June 2018 at 23:03.

  20. #13
    Space Lord of Terra morpheus's Avatar
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    Shouldve sent them over and broke the sh!t out of them and shipped them back on a flatbed saying - look, not a military helicopter.
    "He is an enemy officer taken in battle and entitled to fair treatment."
    "No, sir. He's a sergeant, and they don't deserve no respect at all, sir. I should know. They're cunning and artful, if they're any good. I wouldn't mind if he was an officer, sir. But sergeants are clever."

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  22. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by morpheus View Post
    Shouldve sent them over and broke the sh!t out of them and shipped them back on a flatbed saying - look, not a military helicopter.
    Sadly I think the response would be "we don't care and now you broke them..."

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  24. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky42 View Post
    Sadly I think the response would be "we don't care and now you broke them..."
    if they have no military role, and they stop having to be crewed, maintained and have spares bought for them - all coming out of the Defence budget - would that be a bad thing?

  25. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    if they have no military role, and they stop having to be crewed, maintained and have spares bought for them - all coming out of the Defence budget - would that be a bad thing?
    And if they aren't replaced then?

  26. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky42 View Post
    And if they aren't replaced then?
    if they have no military role, does it matter?

  27. #18
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    The Don has previous history of letting aircraft and equipment rot rather than buy spares for it, Gazelles, Fougas and piston engines being a case in point. Don't encourage those who would cut the place to shreds if they thought they could. Even if those men had gone without an aircraft, they could have seen operational practices up close and reported back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    Don't encourage those who would cut the place to shreds if they thought they could...
    but if they have no military role, and all they do is suck money out of the defence budget, then why not?

    they are shiny certainly, and they might make you feel as if, almost, the DF is approaching the path to becoming a first world European military - but they aren't really a military asset, they take people to hospital, not soldiers to exercises. you know that, you say it often enough, so lets drop the pretence and spend the money/resource on actual military stuff instead...

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  31. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    Exactly, while the 139 can carry a 105 underslung, ammo, crew etc etc. It will not carry it any meaningful distance
    Good man DeV.

    If we had proper military helicopters like *squints* SA-316's, it would be worth exercising with European neighbours, potentially even learning something. Instead, let's just sit on our hands and wait until the Chinooks arrive.

  32. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pym View Post
    Good man DeV.

    If we had proper military helicopters like *squints* SA-316's, it would be worth exercising with European neighbours, potentially even learning something. Instead, let's just sit on our hands and wait until the Chinooks arrive.
    the 139's could be a useful asset on operations - you might not use them in frontline roles but theres not an air componant commander alive who thinks he has too many helicopters to help with Log Spt - but they've been in service a decade now and still no one is talking about using them overseas, or even for serious training roles on island. perhaps its time to accept that they aren't going to be used, and that its time to dispence with them while they have some value?

  33. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by pym View Post
    Good man DeV.

    If we had proper military helicopters like *squints* SA-316's, it would be worth exercising with European neighbours, potentially even learning something. Instead, let's just sit on our hands and wait until the Chinooks arrive.
    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    the 139's could be a useful asset on operations - you might not use them in frontline roles but theres not an air componant commander alive who thinks he has too many helicopters to help with Log Spt - but they've been in service a decade now and still no one is talking about using them overseas, or even for serious training roles on island. perhaps its time to accept that they aren't going to be used, and that its time to dispence with them while they have some value?

    Edited my post

    All I’m saying is that if the hours were available and we wanted to exercises flying a 105 battery from Cork to the Glen, they would probably have to put a tanker in Cork and Kilworth.

    Medium lift they are not

    The Government policy not to deploy AC assets overseas changed with WP15.

    The final 2 in the tender were the AW139 and Black Hawk.... what does that tell you (at DoD level).. having said that we would have ended up with max 4 Black Hawks.

    Even if there was a politically desire to deploy 2 AW139s to Lebanon... we don’t have the personnel.

  34. #23
    Lord Chief Bottlewasher trellheim's Avatar
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    Isn't it the Department who says whether we do these things or not ? I'd view things in that light first and foremost
    "Are they trying to shoot down the other drone? "

    "No, they're trying to fly the tank"

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  36. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by trellheim View Post
    Isn't it the Department who says whether we do these things or not ? I'd view things in that light first and foremost
    Absolutely. I'm sick to my teeth of trying to make this point but it keeps falling on deaf ears.

    The Dept are the very ones who are forcing EAS down the necks of the AC because it is an easy PR win and the asset is already there so for a marginal increase in spending, they have an easy win which results in a pat on the back at government level.

    Be under no illusion that civvies with no military experience in the dept are making military decisions which have a direct impact on DF personnel.

    What is required is general staff with balls that aren't afraid to push back and put their own personal ambitions to one side.

    The dept have eroded the C&C structure along with pay and conditions. Senior officers are receiving instruction from civil servants. Civil servants who will make only safe decisions and decisions that will have the absolute minimum potential for blowback on them it something goes tits up.

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  38. #25
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    The Minister needs to tell DoD that job is to advise on policy.

    Some of the parts of DoD should really be within DFHQ (with civvies if necessary).

    @chuck, I’d say the Dept of Health & HSE are more than happy to use AC for EAS rather than arrange a contractor - it saves them a fortune

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