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05 Apr 19. Royal Navy to Lead European Baltic Sea Deployment in May. Nearly 2,000 UK Armed Forces personnel will deploy to the Baltic Sea for a series of multinational exercises in support of European security. A number of Royal Navy ships will take part in Baltic Protector, including HMS Albion. Sailors and marines from all nations of the UK-led high-readiness Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) will take part in the deployment, due to take place in May, which will underline the importance of protecting Europe at a time of increased threat.
This week, Defence Ministers and representatives from JEF countries will come together at the Ministry of Defence to discuss the deployment and test the mechanisms for mobilising the JEF, laying the foundation for the start of Baltic Protector.
“As Britain prepares to leave the EU,” said Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, “our unwavering commitment to European security and stability is more important than ever.”
A total of 3,000 military personnel from all JEF nations will be involved in the Baltic Protector deployment, which draws in around 20 naval vessels, including a number of Royal Navy ships. They will test themselves with maritime tactical exercises, amphibious drills, amphibious raiding practice, shore landings and naval manoeuvres.
Commodore James Parkin has been selected as Commander of the Task Group. Speaking of his appointment, Commodore Parkin said “It is a huge privilege to command the Baltic Protector deployment, and I am greatly looking forward to working with our close friends and partners from the other eight Joint Expeditionary Force partner nations.”
This is the first ever JEF maritime deployment of this scale, and demonstrates its ability to provide reassurance in the region.
“Deploying our world class sailors and marines to the Baltic Sea, alongside our international allies, firmly underlines Britain’s leading role in Europe,” added Mr Williamson.
The joint force, now fully operational, is spearheaded by the UK and includes eight other like-minded nations – Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. The JEF builds on many years of experience between the UK and these countries.
At full strength, the joint force has the capability to mobilise over 10,000 personnel in support of a variety of missions to deliver rapid and far-reaching effect. And while Baltic Protector is maritime-focused, personnel from the British Army and Royal Air Force will also take part.
Baltic Protector, the first deployment of the JEF Maritime Task Group, will be made up of three major exercises and is aimed at integrating UK and partner nations to test their ability to operate together.
JEF personnel and ships will also work alongside NATO allies during the deployment, further underlining the versatility of the joint force, and the commitment to supporting European security.
The JEF, which was established at the 2014 NATO Summit and launched a year later, became fully operational with the signing of a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding in June 2018.
As an adaptable high-readiness force that can be stood up anywhere, at any time and in any environment, the JEF can cover a range of tasks, including combat operations, deterrence, or humanitarian support. The JEF has the ability to operate independently or in support of multinational organisations, including NATO, UN, EU and Northern Group.
“Together,” said Commodore Parkin, “this UK-led Maritime Task Group will conduct a series of demanding amphibious exercises and maritime security patrols across the Baltic Sea that will serve to improve the way we operate together and our readiness to respond to crisis.”
The joint force is a clear example of collective strength between partner nations, and this joint working has been seen previously. This has included during the Ebola outbreak – as part of the response, the UK, the Netherlands and Norway combined resources on land, at sea and in the air. This demonstrates the kind of integrated mission the JEF could be mobilised to support. (Source: Warfare.Today/UK MoD)
04 Apr 19. Leonardo Signs Wide-Ranging Partnership Agreement in Brazil to Collaborate on Urban Security and Infrastructure Projects.
- The collaboration will initially address security and resilience in the prefecture of Marica, which is expected to see high economic growth linked to the local oil industry
- Leonardo will partner with Codemar, Marica’s municipal development company, to develop high-tech security projects that will boost the expertise of local industry
- One of the objectives of the alliance will be to share best practices for sustainable development
Leonardo has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Brazilian company Codemar (Companhia de Desenvolvimento de Maricá), which promotes socio-economic development in the prefecture of Maricá. The MoU was signed during LAAD 2019, Latin America’s biggest defence and security exhibition.
The agreement will see the two companies working together on projects in areas such as urban security, critical infrastructure resilience and the modernisation and protection of ports and airports.
The two companies will seek to develop the prefecture’s industrial base by offering opportunities to improve its technological expertise; one joint undertaking could see Leonardo and Codemar developing a helicopter maintenance hub at Maricá airport.
Leonardo has chosen to focus on Maricà because of the prefecture’s high potential for economic development: partly due to the prefecture’s strong revenues from oil royalties and partly because of its proximity to Rio de Janeiro.
The local administration has outlined a clear sustainable growth strategy with a focus on safety and security and the development of high-tech local industry, making Leonardo ideally suited as a technology partner. The memorandum of understanding provides for a number of activities through which Leonardo will exchange expertise with Codemar and will see the two companies evaluate various opportunities for future work including a Maricá-based technology park.
Leonardo already actively supports urban security and infrastructure across Latin America, such as in Argentina where the Company is involved in a major intelligent urban mobility project. There, the Company is providing a software platform for data integration which will benefit both commuters and tourists. Through the partnership between Leonardo and Codemar, similarly ambitious projects can be established in Brazil.
Another area of interest for the collaboration is a potential helicopter maintenance hub at Maricà airport. This could provide innovative services for helicopters employed for offshore operations across the region.
With a population of around 150,000, Maricà is positioned to become an important national hub for oil and gas operations, supporting the extraction, storage and processing of crude oil throughout Brazil. The stage is therefore set for new high-tech projects to emerge to improve public safety and the effectiveness of local infrastructure for both citizens and visiting tourists. Codemar, in line with with its mission to promote the sustainable growth of Maricà and the wider East Fluminense region, will address these opportunities via partnerships with public and private entities.(Source: ASD Network)
03 Apr 19. Battelle’s Common Analytical Laboratory System (CALS) Reaches Major Milestone with Successful Training Event at the Aberdeen Test Center. Battelle is bringing its expertise to bear in a project that is one step closer to helping protect people during incidents of chemical and biological threats.
The Common Analytical Laboratory System (CALS) is being developed to meet the needs of the Department of Defense’s military branches. Currently, all branches have different equipment, analytical protocols and training regimens when responding to threat incidences involving chemical, biological or radiological threats.
CALS is essentially three variants of mobile laboratories that provide on-site analytical capabilities to any incident location and do so in a standardized way that helps increase operational efficiency and reduce costs. The latest variant under test is based on the Battelle CALS design and modified as an update for the existing Analytical Laboratory Systems.
In January, these units, designed by Battelle and delivered to the government in 2018, were set up at the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) in Aberdeen, MD for a three-week training event that was the first-time end-users obtained detailed, hands-on experience with the new system. The next step will be a government-led Battelle-supported field test to evaluate operational suitability with the military members who will use the system.
“We are proud to reach this important milestone alongside the Joint Product Manager CBRNE Analytics and Response Systems team,” said Rodney Black, deputy program manager for the project. “It’s a fairly complex challenge to meet the individual mission needs of the end-users for each of the CALS variants. But, we were able to bring our long and deep history of using technology to solve complex challenges involving chemical and biological threats.”
Part of the challenge also included integrating laboratory analytical equipment into a mobile, truck-mounted laboratory safely and reliably while balancing different aspects of utility, space and weight.
Battelle is about to complete the fourth year of the $34.8m contract which is for the Joint Product Manager CBRNE Analytics and Response Systems. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
03 Apr 19. US Navy’s USS Wasp and F-35B aircraft join Balikatan exercise. The US Navy’s amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) and the US Marines Corps’ F-35B Lightning II aircraft are taking part in the annual military exercise Balikatan. Balikatan 2019 is the 35th iteration of the exercise between the Philippines and the US. It also involves participation from Australia for humanitarian and civic assistance projects and special operations forces training. USS Wasp commanding officer captain Colby Howard said: “We are excited to visit the Philippines for the first time since Wasp was forward deployed to Seventh Fleet. Balikatan is a great opportunity for the Navy, Marine Corps team and our allies from the Republic of the Philippines to learn from one another, and further improve our ability operate together.”
The exercise will involve around 4,000 Filipino, 3,500 American and 50 Australian troops and will run until 12 April. This is the first time the F-35B aircraft is participating in the exercise. According to the US Navy, the participation of USS Wasp alongside the F-35B represents increased military capability to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.
It will also demonstrate the ability of these naval assets to forward deploy to support an ally in the event of a crisis or natural disaster.
Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are also expected to join Balikatan 2019 for an International Observers Program, which aims to promote greater defence cooperation with ASEAN and other key allies and partners.
The current iteration will focus on enhancing maritime security and amphibious capabilities. The drills will also seek to improve multinational interoperability through military exchanges.
Philippines Exercise Director lieutenant-general Gilbert Gapay said: “The 35th iteration of Exercise Balikatan is aimed at improving both Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and US Forces’ interoperability through trainings that are focused on mutual defence operations and counterterrorism.
“The goal of such is to enhance both militaries’ employment of forces and assistance in the event of crises that threaten the safety and security of the nation.” (Source: naval-technology.com)
04 Apr 19. Boeing takes over UK Attack Helicopter Training Company. Boeing has acquired Leonardo’s stake in the Aviation Training International Limited (ATIL) partnership. Neither company announced the move, but Jane’s understands the deal was concluded on 31 December 2018. The buyout gives Boeing full control of training during the transition from the Apache AH1 attack helicopter to the new Boeing Apache AH2. Boeing and the then-GKN Westland Helicopters, now part of Leonardo Helicopters, established ATIL in 1998 under a GBP1bn (USD1.3bn) private financial initiative (PFI) funding model to run training centres for all UK Army Air Corps (AAC) Apache attack helicopter aircrew and ground maintenance. The contract reached a break point in 2017, and the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) awarded ATIL a GBP48m contract extension in 2018 to run until 2024 when the last Apache AH1s are due to go out of service. (Source: News Now/IHS Jane’s)
03 Apr 19. ManTech To Continue Prototype Development For New Army Cyber Training Environment. ManTech [MANT] said Wednesday the Army has selected the company to continue supporting prototype development for the Persistent Cyber Training Environment (PCTE) program, with the latest work covering cyber training event control capabilities.
Under the deal, officially awarded in February, ManTech will participate in the third PCTE “Cyber Innovation Challenge” along with technology companies Metova and Simspace “ManTech is providing training assessment and [opposition force] planning & execution capability for the whitecell function as users train on the PCTE platform,” Jim Crawford, a ManTech spokesman, told Defense Daily.
The company has participated in the previous two PCTE Cyber Innovation Challenges, with the earlier work focused on developing the platform’s infrastructure and learning management system. The Army awarded the first PCTE prototype development contracts last June, which included
ManTech’s work providing planned network, schedule training and deployment environment capabilities (Defense Daily, June 19 2018).
For Cyber Innovation Challenge #3, ManTech has partnered with technology companies Aptime, Scythe and Ultimate Knowledge Institute.
“This strategic win positions ManTech as the leading contender to provide hands-on cyber training for the U.S. Army’s next generation warfighters,” Kevin Phillips, CEO of ManTech, said in a statement. “Together with our partners, ManTech is bringing digital to the mission in vital ways that will sharpen skills at the tactical edge of cyber combat.” (Source: Defense Daily)
04 Apr 19. Patria to move part of civilian pilot training to Cordoba in Spain. Patria has decided to relocate their initial civil pilot training operations from Tampere-Pirkkala, Finland to city of Córdoba in Spain. Patria’s single-engine DA40 fleet will be based in Córdoba while theoretical training, simulator training and multi-engine training with DA42 fleet will remain in Finland. Patria’s aircraft maintenance operations at its current Tampere-Pirkkala base are expected to increase after the move, as modern hangar space will become available there.
“The purpose of the move is to secure Patria´s planned growth in commercial pilot training business. Our main driver was to take advantage of favorable weather conditions in Spain, which allows efficient pilot training throughout the year. This improves utilization of Patria´s fleet a great deal. Our goal is to increase our training capacity with existing fleet to become better equipped for increasing demand from our international airline partners”, says Jyrki Myyryläinen, Vice President of Patria´s Aviation training business.
“First staff members will be stationed in Córdoba in May 2019 to prepare for the start of our operations there. During previous winter, a week-long proof of concept exercise was carried out in Córdoba to test the operational environment and infrastructure under actual training conditions. After the exercise we became assured that Córdoba is not only an efficient environment for initial pilot training, but also provides us a platform for safe year-round training according to our plans”, continues Myyryläinen. Patria´s operation in Córdoba will start during summer 2019. The first students to initiate their flight training in Spain will be Patria´s ab-initio group earmarked for Finnish feeder Nordic Regional Airlines. Training in Spain will be supervised and audited by the Finnish Transport and Communications Authority Traficom. Aircraft maintenance in Spain is will be outsourced to a local subcontractor.
03 Apr 19. ADF and military partners train in humanitarian relief during Balikatan 19. A major international military exercise in the Philippines, jointly hosted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and US Indo-Pacific Command, has launched from Manila. Exercise Balikatan 19 is designed to enhance regional military co-operation and interoperability during times of disaster or humanitarian crisis. This year’s focus is the ability to respond effectively to humanitarian and civic assistance events and security operations in south-east Asia. The exercise also includes a range of military training and community relations activities, which involve Australian Defence Force Special Forces, medical, engineering, and chaplaincy personnel. This is the 36th year for Balikatan and the sixth year of the ADF actively participating.
Chief of Joint Operations, Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld said the Australian Defence Force’s ongoing support to the annual exercise underscores Australia’s commitment to regional security and stability.
“The exercise allows us to build our relationship with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the United States Indo-Pacific Command,” AIRMSHL Hupfeld said. “Through this partnership, we aim to increase our ability to co-ordinate a multilateral response to a disaster or humanitarian crisis in a complex and ever-evolving regional security environment.”
Conducted on Luzon and Palawan islands, Exercise Balikatan focuses on delivering humanitarian civic assistance programs, role playing maritime security scenarios and conducting a field training exercise. More than 60 ADF personnel from the Navy, Army, Air Force and Defence Science and Technology are taking part in the exercise.
Exercise Balikatan allows the ADF to further build its Defence ties and military-civilian co-ordination skills with the Philippines and US, as well as enhancing Asia-Pacific regional security and stability.
“The United States, the Philippines and Australia’s long-standing relationship has resulted in a significant and ongoing contribution to regional security,” AIRMSHL Hupfeld said. This year is the fifth time the ADF has participated in Exercise Balikatan. Exercise Balikatan 19 concludes on 12 April 2019. (Source: Defence Connect)
02 Apr 19. Russia says it has opened helicopter training centre in Venezuela. Russia has opened a training centre in Venezuela to help the country’s pilots fly Russian-made military helicopters, Russian state-owned industrial conglomerate Rostec said on Monday, Moscow’s latest gesture of support for President Nicolas Maduro.
Rostec said the centre was inaugurated on Thursday last week, the same day as the White House warned Moscow and other countries backing Maduro against sending troops and military equipment, saying the United States would view such actions as a “direct threat” to the region’s security. Washington, which backs Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, issued the warning after two Russian air force planes carrying nearly 100 military personnel landed outside Caracas, a contingent the Kremlin described as military specialists. Rostec said the new training facility, the location of which it did not disclose, had been set up with the help of Russian specialists and was designed to train Venezuelan pilots to fly Russian-made Mi-35M helicopter gunships as well as Russian-made military transport helicopters.
The facility was opened under a contract with Venezuelan state-owned weapons maker CAVIM. Rostec said it wanted to deepen military and technical cooperation with Venezuela’s ministry of defence if possible. Russia, which has also supplied fighter jets, tanks, and air defence systems to Venezuela, has dismissed U.S. criticism of its military cooperation with Caracas saying it is not interfering in the Latin American country’s internal affairs and poses no threat to regional stability. U.S. President Donald Trump has said that “Russia has to get out” of Venezuela and that “all options” are open to force it to reduce its help for Maduro, raising the prospect of new U.S. sanctions against Moscow. (Source: Reuters)
02 Apr 19. British Navy’s River-class patrol ship HMS Forth starts training. The British Royal Navy’s second-generation River-class patrol ship HMS Forth has commenced training around the Isle of Wight and Solent as it prepares to become the Falklands’ permanent guardship.
Forth is the first of five second-generation River-class patrol ships built by BAE Systems to be delivered to the navy by the end of next year.
The vessel has completed the first week of trials and safety drills off its home base of Portsmouth. As part of the trials, Forth’s crew conducted drills including man overboard, fire-fighting, damage control, and machinery breakdown. Forth will undergo more demanding training and trials before joining operational duty to replace HMS Clyde.
HMS Forth first commanding officer commander Bob Laverty said: “It has been a long road for my ship’s company to get to this point and I am exceptionally proud of every single one of them. In many respects now is the beginning of the journey for Forth as we put her through her paces and get to know our ship inside and out.”
HMS Forth executive officer lieutenant Sam Fields noted that it will be put through the first-of-class flying trials with a Wildcat helicopter later this year in order to prove the aviation capability of the class.
The patrol ship will undergo further trials over the next few months in the South Coast exercise areas before heading to Scotland where it will take part in front-line training. Following trials, Forth will begin crew rotation and will be ready for deployment. Forth’s sister vessels include Medway, Trent, Tamar and Spey. The second-generation patrol ships are bigger and faster than their Tyne, Severn, and Mersey predecessors and will be deployed in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, South Atlantic or Far East. BAE delivered Medway to the navy last month. Meanwhile, the British Royal Navy formally named HMS Tamar at a recent ceremony in Glasgow. (Source: naval-technology.com)
02 Apr 19. ATAC receives final refurbished Mirage fighters. Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC), a US tactical air training, threat simulation, and R&D provider, has received all 63 Mirage F1 combat aircraft it purchased from France in 2017 following an extensive refurbishment and upgrade effort, it announced on 2 April. The fleet is now fully operational with the completion of the work that has taken place at the company’s Adversary Center of Excellence (ACE) facility at the Fort Worth Alliance Airport in Texas. As noted by Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft, Textron retrofitted around 45 of the F1s with modern avionics systems such as digital radio-frequency memory-jamming capabilities and upgraded radars. ATAC plans to use the Mirages for the US Air Force (USAF) Adversary Air (ADAIR) requirement, which requires almost 150 aircraft to fulfil the service’s Red Air training needs. With its newly acquired Mirages, ATAC fields a fast jet fleet that also comprises the Hawker Hunter, IAI F-21 Kfir, and Aero Vodochody L-39ZA.
ATAC is one of several companies offering contracted air services to governments as they look to maintain training levels and standards while reducing stress and demands on their own aircraft fleets. This contractor-owned contractor-operated (COCO) model is becoming increasingly popular as operators look to reduce the wear and tear on their capital assets; to alleviate their pilot shortfalls; and to keep their operational aircraft on the frontline. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
02 Apr 19. HMAS Brisbane integrates 5th-gen fighters during training exercise. Exercise Diamond Shield 2019 has seen the successful integration and operation of Australia’s F-35A Lightning II with HMAS Brisbane and Melbourne off the coast of Newcastle. Throughout the exercise, Brisbane and Melbourne contributed to high-end warfare activities as part of the Royal Australian Air Force’s Tier 1 air defence exercise, Diamond Shield. Brisbane embarked three Fighter Controllers from the Fleet Fighter Control Element, who had the opportunity to control a range of aircraft including F/A-18F Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers, with up to 30 assets airborne at any one time.
Navy said that a “highlight of the exercise saw the most modern and advanced air warfare platform in the Royal Australian Navy integrate and operate with Australia’s new fifth-generation fighter, the F-35A Lightning II”.
Lieutenant Kyle Livingstone, one of the Flight Controllers, said the exercise was a “great opportunity to prove the capability of the Navy’s new destroyers in a complex environment with the most modern and advanced platforms in the Air Force”.
“Exercise Diamond Shield showcased what’s possible when combining the lethality and advanced capability of the Navy’s Air Warfare Destroyers with fifth-generation fighter aircraft,” LEUT Livingstone said.
“Achieving the first integration of the Destroyer capability with the fifth-generation Joint Strike Fighter is of particular significance,” said Commanding Officer of HMAS Brisbane Commander Josh Wilson.
“The opportunity to integrate cutting edge air and maritime assets in a high-end warfighting scenario is rare and proved an invaluable experience for the Brisbane team.”
The Fleet Fighter Control Element “seamlessly integrated” into Brisbane’s operations room team, which demonstrated “the ease with which Fighter Controllers contribute to high-end warfighting activities”.
Brisbane’s participation in the activities form part of her deployment readiness work as she prepares to conduct weapon firing and certifications in the US later in 2019. (Source: Defence Connect)
02 Apr 19. $436m Helicopter Aircrew Training System achieves IOC. Defence Minister Christopher Pyne has announced that the Australian Defence Force’s Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) had successfully achieved initial operating capability (IOC).
Minister Pyne said the training system was designed to prepare Navy and Army aircrew for transition into Defence’s complex combat helicopters: “Following successful testing of the individual aircrew training courses throughout 2018, Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Michael Noonan declared the conditions had been met for initial operating capability.”
The training system employs a complimentary set of full motion flight simulators, part task trainers and classroom instruction, along with 15 Airbus EC135T2+ helicopters, all within purpose-built facilities.
“At an acquisition cost of $436m, HATS has delivered a modern helicopter training system for Defence which has the ability to train up to 144 helicopter pilots, aircrew and aviation warfare officers each year,” Minister Pyne added.
HATS encompasses part task trainers including winching, aircraft marshalling, aerial transfers to ships and deck operations; flight simulators; a helicopter maintenance program; development and maintenance of training materials and overall curriculum of four ab initio courses; along with the provision of ground and air training by Boeing instructors.
Minister Pyne added, “723 Squadron is staffed by Navy and Army aircrew, with additional instructors, support staff and aircraft maintenance provided by Boeing Defence Australia, who employ 108 contracted personnel in the Nowra area.
“The HATS project overcame significant early delays to commence training on time, demonstrating what can be achieved when Defence and industry co-operate closely.”
Under the JP9000 Phase 7 HATS project, a new joint helicopter training program for Navy and Army aircrew will utilise 15 EC135T2+ helicopters, along with flight simulators and a new flight-deck equipped sea-going training vessel. Boeing Defence Australia is the prime contractor for the new training system, partnered by Thales Australia, which supplies the flight simulators and synthetic training devices.
The EC135T2+ is a military training helicopter that offers a glass cockpit with high visibility, a multi-axis auto-pilot, plus other advanced technologies to help instructors perform training missions.
The EC135 offers the performance and safety of a twin-engine helicopter that will replace both the Navy Squirrel and Army Kiowa single-engine helicopter types.
On maturity, HATS will train up to 130 students each year, including pilots, aviation warfare officers, air crewmen and sensor operators, in addition to qualified aircrew returning for instructor training.
In August 2018, the HATS project received the prestigious Essington Lewis Trophy, which recognises excellence in industry and Defence collaboration. (Source: Defence Connect)
01 Apr 19. Krimson supports next generation of African aviators in Addis Ababa. As the aviation industry faces an increasingly challenging recruitment environment, Krimson, the Ethiopia-based flight support company, is playing its part to support education at ` grass roots level. Dawit Lemma, Krimson CEO, is providing volunteer teaching services to students taking the Brevet d’Initiation Aéronautique (BIA) course at the Lycée Guébré-Mariam, an Ethio-French school teaching Francophone pupils from nursery up to high school age in Addis Ababa. The weekly delivery of the two-hour educational sessions are shared with industry colleague Pierre Lucas, United Nations Humanitarian Air Service, UNHAS, Chief – Ethiopia.
The class covers the fundamentals of aviation and aims to bring real-world experience to the academic studies. Upon successful completion of the one-year course, and passing of the standardized examination, students receive credit towards earning their private pilot license, PPL. The BIA, which was created in 1968, is certified by the French Ministry of Education. Each year some 3,500 high school students choose this optional curriculum as part of the French public education system. This is the second year the Lycée Guébré-Mariam has offered the course and when the six-strong group of 15- and 16-year old students sit their exams in May a total of 16 pupils will have completed the program.
The BIA course covers five main subjects in Aviation: weather and meteorology, navigation, flight dynamics, aircraft systems, and aviation history. An optional module in aeronautical English is also part of the curriculum. As a qualified pilot and aviation services provider, Lemma shares his aviation knowledge and uses personal anecdotes to showcase the diversity of aviation which helps the students understand the complexity of the industry. “It’s a great honor to be supporting the next generation of aviators here in Africa,” said Lemma. “It is well known that African economies are strengthening and consequently the need for aviation to support this growth will drive the need for more aviation professionals. Sharing our knowledge with the students is a real joy for us, and more importantly it helps them understand the practical reality of working in the aviation sector. The Lycée students represent many French-speaking countries including Switzerland, Cote D’Ivoire, France, as well as Ethiopia, so I’ve had to brush up on my French aviation terms too,” said Lemma.
The colleagues provide their time voluntarily, bringing in aircraft instruments for students to handle and familiarize themselves with, occasionally teach together, and manage offsite trips for the students. The most recent of which was to visit the Ethiopian Airlines headquarters in Addis Ababa, which has an extensive aviation academy on site. “The children loved the trip. They are learning the foundations of aviation, but a visit to the Ethiopian Aviation Academy gave them the opportunity to see first-hand the high standards of professionalism maintained by the aviation industry here in Ethiopia,” said Lemma. “It really inspired them, and it was great to witness that enthusiasm.”
29 Mar 19. Investment in Catterick Training Area Creates Challenging Urban Training Environment. More Than GBP1.2M has Been Invested in New Buildings at Catterick Training Area to Recreate the Cluttered and Congested Environment of a City.
The investment into Whinny Hill, Catterick training area’s urban operations training facility, has created a more challenging training environment for the armed forces and emergency services personnel who use it. The upgrade has created a more realistic environment for troops carrying out modern day military training in the area.
The new facility consists of 13 buildings constructed from purpose built reconfigurable containers. The single and two-storey buildings have a variety of access points and forced entry points. A further multi-storey building provides helicopter and rope access training.
Working with BeaverFit Ltd and industry partner Landmarc Support Services, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) delivered the project in two phases, the first finished in October 2018 and the second completing this month. The facility remained operational throughout the construction period so that the impact on vital military training was minimised.
Lt Col Mark Holden, Commander Defence Training Estate for the North Region, said: “DIO supports our armed forces by providing what they need to live, work and train. We have worked closely with experts and our partners to ensure that we deliver exactly what the military needs to provide enhanced training for their sailors, soldiers and airmen. The new urban complex has been designed to meet the needs of military personnel now, and in the future, and we’re pleased that it’s now ready for use.”
Claire Travis, Project Manager from Landmarc, commented: “The buildings have been designed with facades to add realism and internal room layouts that are reconfigurable to enable different challenges for defenders and attackers. One of the key challenges was to ensure that the existing urban training facility remained operational whilst the project was delivered. This required close collaboration with DIO and our contractors to de-conflict the training areas during vehicle movements and the final delivery of the containers, which were manufactured off-site to provide a more flexible and cost-effective solution.”
Major General Tim Hyams said, “We’re delighted to take into use the new urban training facility here in Catterick. This state-of-the-art facility will enable the delivery of realistic and challenging training to our soldiers.
“Whinny Hill is the principal sub-unit urban training facility in the North of the UK and the enhancements made here will develop further our ability to prepare for operations in complex urban terrain.” (Source: ASD Network/Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom))
Meggitt Training Systems, makers of FATS® and Caswell technologies, a division of Meggitt PLC, is the leading supplier of integrated live-fire and virtual weapons training systems. Following the acquisition of FATS® virtual training systems and Caswell International’s live-fire ranges and services, Meggitt Training Systems continues to grow its capabilities based on the legacy of these two industry leaders. Over 13,600 Meggitt live-fire ranges and 5,100 virtual systems are fielded internationally, providing judgmental, situational awareness and marksmanship training to the armed forces, law enforcement and security organizations. Meggitt Training Systems employs more than 400 people at its headquarters in Atlanta and at facilities in Orlando, Canada, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, UAE, Australia and Singapore. It can deploy service personnel anywhere in the world for instructor training, system installation and maintenance. Learn more at https://meggitttrainingsystems.com/