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After Operation Unified Protector, NATO recognised the lack of clearances as one of the major lessons identified that needed to be solved to benefit interoperability between Nations involved in future combined operations.
The MCCE AAR Cell has been involved already from the beginning in AAR certification projects to improve the current situation in close relation with the European Defence Agency (EDA), the Joint Air Power Competence Centre (JAPCC) and NATO. The EDA, Italy and the MCCE have jointly organised the first collective European air-to-air refuelling (AAR) clearance trial on the Italian KC-767.
Italy’s AAR clearance initiative supported by the MCCE is a cost efficient way to quickly close an important capability gap regarding tanker-receiver certification; given the urgency based on lessons learned from recent operations.
The JAPCC will organise the NATO Air-to-Air Refueling Clearance Request/Approval Training 23-25 January 2017. This is a two-day Course for Testing, Tasking and Approval Personnel conducted at the European Air Transport Command (EATC) at Airbase Eindhoven.
The challenges presented by limited clearances is compounded by a lack of knowledge of what is involved in gaining a clearance, or even how to begin the process. As more, new aircraft enter Alliance inventories, this lack of knowledge will further hindering operations; the JAPCC seeks to redress this balance. The JAPCC is seeking to empower the Nations so that they can gain more AAR clearances. It intends to do this by providing both education in the process and creating a vehicle to connect the personnel involved.
The training will be led by the JAPCC and supported by the MCCE, NATO Headquarters International Staff Defence Investment and the EDA. The MCCE will also contribute an AAR instructor.
The Airbus A-330 MRTT and the Boeing KC-46A/KC-767 are the next generation Multi Role Tanker Transport Aircraft to deliver military strategic air transport and air-to-air refuelling capabilities.
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