Europeans contract for helicopter training

May 16, 2011 at 6:43 AM
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YEOVIL, England, May 16 (UPI) -- The European Defense Agency has contracted AgustaWestland for an Interim Helicopter Tactics Training Service for contributing member states.

The training will help prepare contributing member states' helicopter crews for joint deployment on allied military operations at the same time as they develop indigenous tactics training capabilities.

"We are both delighted and honored to be part of this multinational program supporting coalition helicopter crews in their pre-deployment training for operations," said John Ponsonby, senior vice president of training, AgustaWestland.

"As part of this unique provision, AgustaWestland has combined the latest training technology with experienced instructors in order to deliver a training service that is highly credible, yet flexible enough to meet the needs of all national training requirements."

AgustaWestland had been awarded a first contract by EDA in 2008 to conduct a feasibility study into a Helicopter Tactics Program for nations deploying on multinational operations, and a second contract in 2009 for an HTP Implementation Study.

The first course of the latest contract will be delivered this year, with 20 courses delivered over the following two years, at a dedicated facility in the Empire Test Pilots' School at Ministry of Defense Boscombe Down, England. Courses will run for three weeks and include theory lectures and the practical application of the tactics, techniques and procedures, distilled from current and past operations.

The course is designed to provide a common understanding of the mission tactics required to be successful in current operations. It can be adapted to meet individual and specific national requirements.

Participating in the program are the Czech Republic, Hungary, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Sweden and Great Britain.

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