The program also includes a helicopter tactics course in the U.K., which has trained 18 crews so far. Luxembourg, which has been financially supporting the exercises, is hosting the next course this month.
The European-qualified helicopter tactics course—an Anglo-Swedish train-the-trainers initiative aimed at creating a recognized rotorcraft tactics instructor cadre across Europe—will start later this year. EDA members have also started to harmonize helicopter flight training, and trial courses have been carried out in English. Later this year, EDA plans to conduct a concept demonstration on the use of distributed simulator training, which is less expensive than flight training.
Belgian defense minister Pieter De Crem cast Green Blade in the wider context of pooling and sharing in a fiscally austere environment. EDA chief executive Claude-France Arnould explained that it was not only cost-effective to train together, but it also promotes interoperability. In this context, Gray said the EDA's helicopter training program is aimed at addressing the shortage in operational helicopters in Europe by building a foundation for international coalitions: “We have to train together because we have to fight together.” And when deploying on an operation, “you will see a face you can trust.”