ETAP-T23/VOLCANEX Air Mobility Protection Team Training
By recognising the overall ETAP-T23 training aim, the ETAP-T23/VOLCANEX AMPT side training had the aim of training AMPTs from several nations together and exchanging best practices in order to enhance interoperability and tactical awareness by utilising the European Air Group’s AMPT Handbook extensively.
The European Air Group (EAG) VOLCANEX AMPT exercise was held between 02 July and 14 July 2023 in Portugal. The VOLCANEX series of exercises are used to introduce and validate key EAG products. Each VOLCANEX is demand-driven and the result of a request, identified need, or requirement, articulated by the EAG nations. VOLCANEX exercises are aimed at the (operational) tactical level, with the intent of enhancing interoperability and standardisation amongst EAG Nations and EAG Partner Nations.
The potential for a combined Air Mobility Protection Team (AMPT) training event, integrated into the European Tactical Airlift Centre’s European Tactical Airlift Programme Training 2023 (ETAP-T23), had been identified and EAG FP personnel offered a streamlined AMPT side training evolution under the umbrella of ETAP-T23. Nations participating in ETAP-T23 with AMPTs were DEU, ESP, ITA, NLD, NOR and PRT. The main basis for the AMPT training event was the EAG AMPT Handbook, combined with the adaptation of an ETAP-T training objective (TO) which was “to train together and exchange best practices in order to enhance interoperability and tactical awareness.”
This first-time edition of the ETAP-T23/VOLCANX AMPT was superbly hosted by Portugal at Base Aérea No 11, Beja. The live shooting training was conducted at Campo de Tiro de Alcochete, Field Firing Range.
During the first week of the training, the aim was to create a common ground “crawl-walk” intensity and was mostly executed at AB11 Beja as well as at Campo de Tiro de Alcochete Field Firing Range. The AMPTs were initially trained within their national team set-up but ultimately mixed in multinational team compositions.
The second week was dedicated to flying operations. The mixed AMPT teams trained with the multinational transport aircraft fleet present, especially in “ground-to-ground” threat reactions – “walk-run” intensity.
The training was very well received and participants found it beneficial to train in an international setting, operating within multinational teams and working with multinational aircrews. In particular, the ability to exchange information, and to understand each other’s procedures and desired outcomes, created mutual understanding and enhanced the FP network, resulting in strengthened cooperation, whilst also initiating future initiatives.
Valuable Lessons Identified and best practices will be incorporated in the revision of the AMPT HANDBOOK Version 1 dated June 2022.