Exercise Green Blade is a joint and combined exercise which will be organised by the Belgian Department of Defence, supported by Luxembourg, from 18 September till 5 October 2012 under the auspices of the EDA Helicopter Training Programme. The airfield of Kleine-Brogel, home of the 10th Tactical Fighter Wing and situated about 13 km in the north-east of Belgium, will serve as a hub for all rotary-wing operations.
“Pegasus 2012”, an exercise organised by the (Belgium) Special Forces Group in the same timeframe and relying heavily on helicopter assets of all types, will provide a unique opportunity to collaborate with multiple Special Operations Task Units (SOTU’s) of different nationalities. Conceived as a SOF-exercise, the emphasis will be placed on typical Special Forces (SOF) related missions, such as insertion/extraction, hostage rescue, direct action, personnel recovery by day as by night, in a single – or multi-ship configuration. If requested by participating nations, more conventional types of missions, such as Airmobile Ops, Recce & Surveillance, as well as non-tactical training missions, such as NVG-flying and Nap of Earth can be provided as well. As a general guideline, an incremental build-up in terms of size, complexity and difficulty of the consecutive tactical missions will be applied. The overall objective of this exercise is to enhance interoperability at tactical level between helicopter units of participating nations in a joint and combined environment. Special attention will be drawn to the quality of the mission preparation, rehearsal and after-action review in a combined and time limited environment.
Exercise Green Blade will follow a “step by step” approach. Therefore, the programme will consist of three major consecutive modules. During the Combat Enhancement Training / Force Integration Training module, the helicopter units will familiarize themselves with the exercise framework (Belgian airspace, air rules and exercise-specific operating procedures), perform cross-training (rehearse common drills, Techniques, Tactics and Procedures between helicopter units as well as supported ground units) and have the opportunity to perform non-tactical training flights (NVG, Nap of Earth). During the second module, the units will have the possibility to analyse, plan and execute a wide variety of SOF related missions (insertion/extraction, hostage rescue, personnel recovery) and if requested by the participating nations, the more traditional helicopter missions such as airmobile operations (seize and hold), MedEvac, Recce & Surveillance. In this phase, all flights will be from and to the DOB of Leopoldsburg barracks and the exercise areas will be mainly situated in the north of Belgium. During the last module, the nature of the flights and missions will be similar to the previous module but the helicopter units will be temporarily deployed to a Forward Operating Base (FOB) which will be situated in the south-east of Belgium.
This vast and challenging training area is characterised by a low population density, interesting geographical characteristics (a lot of woods, hills and valleys) and a favourable airspace classification (helicopter training areas going from ground level to 500 ft AGL). Furthermore, the helicopters will have the opportunity to perform a Forward Arming and Refueling Point (FARP) procedure at this Forward Operating Base.