Exercises and training

Jun 16, 2015

Start DateN.A.
Type of activity: workstrand
Participating Countries: All
Other partners: n/a

In order to enhance and sustain some key European defence capabilities, the European Defence Agency is active in the organisation of multinational exercises and training events which also aim at increasing interoperability between armed forces. Initiatives are ongoing in various domains such as military air transport, helicopter, or counter-IED techniques. The end objective is not the organization of exercises as a stand-alone principle; rather, these activities should contribute to the enhancement and availability of selected capabilities.

Workstrand goals

  • Enhancement of Member States' military capabilities
  • Interoperability development
  • Increased readiness for coalition operations

Detailed description

In line with its mission to enhance EU Member States' defence capabilities, the European Defence Agency organises regular education and operational training activities across its directorates. 

  • Helicopter availability

To date, more than 200 helicopter and 13.000 personnel have taken part in eight live exercises organised as part of the Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP). In June 2015, Italy hosted Italian Blade 2015, a training event which gathered 40 helicopters from seven different nations. This was the biggest helicopter exercise held in Europe in 2015. Other concurrent projects are active in the field of helicopter training such as the Helicopter Tactics Course.

  • Fixed-wing training

Similar exercises are organised to increase the availability of fixed-wing capabilities. This is true in the field of air-to-air refuelling, with two editions of the European Air-to-air Refuelling Training (EART) having been organised in 2014 and 2015 with the support of the European Air Transport Command and the Netherlands as host nation. 

As part of the European Air Transport Fleet (EATF) partnership, regular exercises and training events are taking place throughout Europe to promote interoperability and increase the overall availability of military air transport assets. These include large multinational live-flying events as well as academics courses and instructor training.

  • Counter-IED

Several events already took place in the field of Counter Improvised Explosive Devices (C-IED) training. In 2013, a group of Member States decided to pool resources and expertise to set up a series of C-IED Manual Neutralisation Techniques courses and exercises. The first event organised under this framework took place in May 2014. Other efforts in the field of C-IED training involve the organisation of a European Homemade Explosives Training course


Participating Member States

  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Czech
  • Germany
  • Estonia
  • Ireland
  • Greece
  • Spain
  • France
  • Croatia
  • Italy
  • Cyprus
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Hungary
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Austria
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • Slovakia
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • UK