Bulgaria hosts European military transport aviation flight exercise


The basic stage of the European course on improving the tactical preparation of the military transport aviation (18-2 ETAP-C) will be conducted in Bulgaria in the period 16-26 April 2018. The flight exercise is part of the official calendar of events under the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.  Transport aircraft, crews and military personnel from Bulgaria, Lithuania, Poland and Romania, servicemen from the Netherlands, the European Tactical Airlift Center and the European Air Transport Command will participate in the exercise.

The European course on improving the tactical preparation of the military transport aviation will be conducted at the airfields in Plovdiv and Bezmer, at the Air Force Training Range–Elena as well as at the airfields near the villages of Cheshnegirovo and Chernogorovo.

In the course of ETAP-C 18-2, the participants will work on the following training tasks: low and extremely low altitude flights; airborne drops; simulated airborne drops; overcoming the enemy’s air defence, including ground based air defence assets and fighter aircraft; tactical landings; and dirt strip landing and take-off. The fighter aircraft aviation will train tactical interception while air and missile defence troops will work on air defence missile covering.

The basic goals of the participation of the Bulgarian Air Force in the exercise will be to achieve higher interoperability with respect to taking part in multinational operations with allies, as well as to enhance the theoretical, tactical-special and flight preparation in fulfilling transport tasks. For the flight crews of the fighter aircraft aviation, the goals are to improve the tactical-special and flight preparation in intercepting transport aircraft; the air and missile defence troops aim to improve the theoretical and tactical-special preparation in handling low altitude, low speed targets; and Combat Management air traffic controllers will train to guide, steer and manage low altitude, low speed targets.

The executive manager of ETAP-C 18-2 on the Bulgarian side will be Colonel Rumen Kondev, Head of the Flight Safety Inspectorate to the Bulgarian Air Force Command, and the director of the flight exercise will be Colonel Jose Luis Romero Allegue, Air Force, Spain, who is Commander of the European Tactical Airlift Center.

From the Bulgarian Air Force, personnel and equipment from the Air Force Command, the 24th Air Base Krumovo, the 3rd Air Base Graf Ignatievo, Command, Control and Surveillance Base Sofia, Special Equipment Base Bozhurishte and the 1st Air and Missile Defence Base Bozhurishte will participate in the exercise. 

The flights will be conducted with Spartan and Hercules aircraft in the period 16-26 April 2018 when the closing ceremony of the exercise will take place.

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