The EDA Helicopter Tactics Course gained 16 new graduates at a ceremony held at Royal Air Force Linton-on-Ouse in the UK. The students from the Czech Republic and Hungary were awarded their badges and certificates by the concept originator and EDA Project Manager, Wing Commander Andy Gray. They successfully completed a 3-week course, delivered as part of a collaborative project launched by the UK in partnership with the Czech Republic, Hungary, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Sweden. This EDA Cat B project recently contracted for 10 courses to be delivered over the next year with an option for a further 10 in 2013, following on from the completion of the construction and test phase completed in February 2012.
The course is a mix of classroom theory lessons and flying scenarios in a virtual battlespace modeled on the experience and challenges of Afghanistan. Using serious gaming technology to deliver high value training at an affordable cost, the course focuses on delivering Whole Crew Training. Each simulator module contains a cockpit and rear cabin incorporating crew-served weapons. With the option to use Virtual Reality Goggles or the more conventional wrap-round screen, all the crew are immersed in the same virtual environment, bringing Crew Resource Management into focus as one of the essential skills in defeating current operational threat. The modules are easily reconfigured to between aircraft types. The Mi171, Cougar and A109 already included in the programme and it is planned to add Blackhawk and NH90 later this year.
Andy Gray, EDA Helicopter Programme Manager, on the left, with a graduate, on the right.
One of the graduating crews is due to deploy within weeks to Afghanistan to help train the Afghan Air Force. The EDA is proud to have helped them prepare for this challenging role and wishes them a successful tour of duty and a safe return home.