Beitritt Österreichs zu MCCE und ATARES

Das Streitkräfteziel Luftunterstützung ist in der Planungsleitlinie des Österreichischen Bundesheeres (ÖBH) festgelegt. Die wesentliche Zielsetzung ist die Erfüllung der Luftunterstützung der eingemeldeten österreichischen Truppenteile. Das bedingt die Fähigkeit zur unmittelbaren Verlegung von Vor- und Erkundungskommanden, zur Unterstützung des raschen Aufmarsches und der Anschlussversorgung in den Einsatzraum sowie von Einsätzen wie z. B. zur Geiselbefreiung, zum Transport von Reserven und zur Evakuierung.

Zur Sicherstellung der über die nationalen militärischen Fähigkeiten hinausgehenden Anforderungen waren die Nutzung ziviler Kapazitäten sowie die Teilnahme an strategischen Transportinitiativen wie z. B. die Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (SALIS), und internationale Kooperationen, wie der Beitritt zum Movement Coordination Centre Europe (MCCE) zu prüfen bzw. vorzusehen. Diese Beurteilung und die Schaffung der Voraussetzung zum Beitritt wurden in der Quartiermeisterabteilung des Bundesministeriums für Landesverteidigung und Sport (BMLVS/Qu) durchgeführt. Seit 1. Jänner 2010 ist das Österreichische Bundesheer nunmehr Mitglied des MCCE.

Movement Coordination Centre Europe
Das MCCE wurde am 1. Juli 2007 aus dem Sealift Coordination Centre (SCC) und dem European Airlift Centre (EAC) gebildet.

Das MCCE ist auf der Luftwaffenbasis Eindhoven als permanente Operationszentrale eingerichtet. Die generellen Aufgaben sind:

  • Die unilaterale, multilaterale und multinationale Koordinierung und Unterstützung von Missionen einschließlich Crisis Management Operations und Disaster Relief Operations.
  • Die Identifizierung und Erstellung von Vorschlägen für einen optimierten Einsatz von Mitteln.
  • Das Erarbeiten von Synergien und Überwachen des Erfolges.
  • Das Vorbereiten zur Unterstützung von EU (EUMS), NATO (AMCC) und Koalitionen sofern Mitglieder teilnehmen.
  • Die Wahrnehmung der Koordinierung mit Dritten, wenn dies von einem Mitglied vorgeschlagen wird.
     Die Bereitstellung einer Datenbank über die Leistungsfähigkeit von Flug- und Seehäfen sowie relevanten Daten über Schiffe/Flugzeuge/Kraftfahrzeuge.
  • Die Bereitstellung von Experten bzw. Expertisen in allen Teilbereichen.
  • Die Unterstützung von Dritten nur mit Zustimmung der Mitglieder.
  • Die Luftraumbewirtschaftung

Auf der Basis der gesammelten Daten gibt das MCCE eine Hilfestellung, wie Transportkapazitäten effektiv und unter Beachtung legistischer Vorbehalte (z. B. Transitvereinbarungen) oder nationaler Einschränkungen, für alle Bedarfsträger bereitgestellt werden können. MCCE hat keine Befehlsgewalt oder Autorität zum Abschluss eines Kontraktes, diese bleiben in nationaler Kompetenz.

Wesentlichen Aktivitäten von MCCE
Die Aufzählung der folgenden Aktivitäten zeigt sehr deutlich den Umfang der Tätigkeiten von MCCE.

  • Koordinierung von Eisenbahntransporten von Europa nach Afghanistan durch Russland. (Zunehmende Bedeutung durch den bevorstehenden Rücktransport von rund 125 000 Containern und 70 000 Fahrzeugen).
  • Organisation von Sammeltransporten zu KFOR und EUFOR.
  • Bereitstellung von gesichertem Schiffstransport durch die Länder DEU, NOR, DNK, GBR und ITA mit einer Gesamtkapazität von 44 800 Linemetern (lm) auf Roll-On-Roll-Off Schiffen.
  • Österreich beteiligte sich nicht bei der Abwicklung von rund 250 Luftbetankungen bei Übungen und Versorgung von Transporten in den afrikanischen und asiatischen Raum.
  • Koordinierung von rund 300 Lufttransporten zwischen den Mitgliedsländern.
  • Zunehmende Zusammenarbeit durch drastisch steigende Transportkosten und steigenden Bedarf an militärischer Lufttransportkapazität.

Im Zuge der Mitgliedschaft bei MCCE hat sich gezeigt, dass durch den Beitritt zu Air Transport & Air Refuelling and Exchange of Other Services (ATARES), die Vorteile bei der Zusammenarbeit mit dem MCCE signifikant höher sind, da die Kooperationen häufiger in Anspruch genommen werden können. Aus diesem Erfahrungsgewinn wurde die Mitgliedschaft zu ATARES angestrebt und mit 13. März 2012 vollzogen.

Air Transport & Air Refuelling and Exchange of Other Services – ATARES
Die Verrechnungsbasis sind die Equivalent Flying Hours C130 (EFH) auf Basis einer C130-Flugstunde. Dies ermöglicht einen Leistungsaustausch ohne Geldfluss zwischen den Mitgliedsländern. Viele dieser Länder haben dasselbe Problem wie Österreich. “Verdientes Geld” muss an das jeweilige Finanzministerium abgeliefert werden und ist daher für die eigenen Streitkräfte nicht verfügbar. Die derzeitigen Mitgliedschaften (Stand 1. März 2012) sind aus der Grafik (20 ATARES und 26 MCCE Länderflaggen) ersichtlich.

Der Gegenverrechnungswert einer Flugstunde zu den Flugstunden der anderen Flugzeugtypen wird jährlich festgesetzt bzw. aktualisiert. Die Transportkapazitäten der anderen Luftfahrzeugtypen werden danach bewertet und abgerechnet. In diesem System befinden sich derzeit 33 verschiedene Flugzeugtypen mit 425 Luftfahrzeugen.

Wesentliche Vorteile
Die wesentlichen Vorteile der Mitgliedschaft in ATARES aus österreichischer Sicht sind:

Im internationalen Umfeld

  • Die Reduzierung von Transportkosten durch eine enge Zusammenarbeit;
  • die Nutzung einer effektiven Agentur ohne eigene Strukturen aufzubauen;
  • die Sicherstellung eines effizienteren Austausches von Informationen zur gemeinsamen Nutzung von militärischen und zivilen Ressourcen;
  • die Verhinderung eines internen militärischen Wettbewerbs bei gleichzeitigem Transportbedarf;
  • die Bereitstellung umfangreicher und ständig aktuell gehaltener Datenbanken für die Planung und Durchführung von Missionen sowie
  • die Bereitstellung von Planungskapazitäten.

Im nationalen Umfeld
Ein Mehrwert für den nationalen Bereich und die Luftstreitkräfte liegt im Erfahrungsgewinn in den Bereichen:

  • Auftragsflüge C130, die im Rahmen der Mindestflugstunden pro Jahr zur Erreichung der Feldverwendungsfähigkeit der Piloten und Copiloten notwendig sind, können anteilsmäßig effektiv genutzt werden;
  • Zusammenarbeit mit potenziellen Partnernationen;
  • ständiges Training für das Lufttransportfachpersonal;
  • Erhalt bzw. Steigerung der Flexibilität des Lufttransportsystems C 130 durch die Zusammenarbeit mit anderen Nationen bei der Abwicklung der Transporte;
  • unbürokratische Nutzung der Vorteile des MCCE Beitritts mit ATARES, weil keine zusätzlichen Abkommen bei künftiger Zusammenarbeit mit anderen Streitkräften in diesem System mehr notwendig sind;
  • kein administrativer Aufwand durch Rechnungslegungen sowie
  • Administration durch MCCE und daher keine zusätzlichen Kosten.

Jedes ATARES-Mitglied kann Flugstunden in das System einbringen und Flugstunden aus dem System heraus abrufen. Diese Flugstunden sind mit einer Obergrenze von 500 EFH in einem Abrechnungszeitraum von 60 Monaten in der Balance zu halten. Eine effektive Nutzung des Systems kann nur durch die Übernahme einer aktiven Rolle in diesem Interessensverbund liegen. In einer ersten Beobachtungsphase bis Ende 2013 waren bis zu 200 EFH pro Jahr für eine Beteiligung vorgesehen. Der Beitritt zu ATARES ist mit keinen zusätzlichen Kosten verbunden, da die Verrechnung mit der Mitgliedschaft in MCCE bereits bezahlt ist. Das System kann sowohl bei der Inanspruchnahme von gesamten Luftfahrzeugen als auch von Teilladungen von Cargo und Personen zur Anwendung kommen.

Die Zusammenarbeit mit ATARES kann einerseits in der Weise erfolgen, dass das ÖBH als Bereitsteller einem oder mehreren Mitgliedern Lufttransportkapazität zur Verfügung stellt. Nach einer Beurteilung und Festlegung werden durch den SKFüKdo/J4 die freien Transportkapazitäten Online in das System MCCE/ATARES eingemeldet. Bei einer positiven Zusammenarbeit liegt die Verantwortung für die Koordination sowie die konkrete Durchführung beim SKFüKdo/TlStbLu. Andererseits kann das ÖBH über ATARES Lufttransportkapazitäten in Anspruch nehmen. Nach der Festlegung eines über ATARES abzurufenden Transportbedarfes im Rahmen der Lufttransportkoordinierung wird der Transportbedarf als Anforderung an das System MCCE/ATARES bekanntgegeben. Bei einer positiven Zusammenarbeit liegt die Verantwortung für die Koordination sowie die konkrete Durchführung ebenfalls beim SKFüKdo/TlStbLu.

Grundsätze
Die Zusammenarbeit mit ATARES wird von den folgenden Grundsätzen geleitet:

  • Die Beistellung des Personals zur Durchführung von ATARES-Flügen erfolgt auf Basis einer Entscheidung nach KSE-BVG § 1 Z 1 oder nach KSE-BVG Z 2.
  • Durch den Ministerrat wurden für das Jahr 2013 20 Flüge genehmigt.
  • Bei der Durchführung von Flügen haben die nationalen Einsatz- und Einsatzvorbereitungen Priorität, die Nutzung von ATARES wird unter dieser Berücksichtigung in der Koordinierungsbesprechung Lufttransport festgelegt.
  • Die Steuerung und Genehmigung zur Durchführung obliegt dem BMLVS und wird meist in der vierteljährlichen Lufttransportkoordinierung festgelegt.
  • Die Flüge für ATARES werden vorerst innerhalb Europas und den angrenzenden sicheren Staaten angeboten.
  • Die Planung und Durchführung von ATARES-Flügen wird innerhalb der verfügten Richtlinien dem SKFüKdo zugeordnet.
  • In der Anfangsphase wird nur Gefahrgut, das für den Lufttransport zugelassen ist, transportiert.
  • ATARES-Operationen richten sich nach dem ratifizierten NATO PfP SOFA, dies schließt auch die gegenseitigen Haftungen ein.
  • Für eine mögliche Versicherung ist der Anforderer verantwortlich.

Informationsaustausch
Der Informationsaustausch findet mit der NATO-Software “Logistic Functional Area Services” (LOGFAS) statt. Diese wurde von der NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) und der NATO CIS Services Agency (NCSA) als Logistik-, Führungs- und Fachinformationssystem entwickelt. Dieses System wurde auch in der Partnerschaft für den Frieden (PfF) und der Gemeinsamen Europäischen Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik (GSVP) und den sich daraus ergebenden Bestrebungen zur Interoperabilität der EU und dessen Mitgliedsstaaten zur offiziellen Verwendung übergeben. Diese Software wurde im Österreichischen Bundesheer seit dem Jahr 2010 auch zur nationalen Nutzung im Regelbetrieb eingeführt. Die an die PfF-Nationen freigegebene LOGFAS-Version besteht unter anderem aus folgenden Software-Tools:

Allied Deployment and Movement System (ADAMS)
ADAMS ist ein Software-Tool zur Planung von strategischen Aufmärschen von Truppen und deren Material.
Eine erste sehr erfolgreiche Anwendung erfolgte während der Mission EUFOR Tchad/RCA. Vorlage des Aufmarschplanes (NDDP) mittels ADAMS in von NATO- und/oder EU-geführter Operationen im Bereich Land-/Luft-/Seetransport.

Logistics Reporting (LOGREP)
LOGREP ist ein Software-Tool zur Bestandserfassung und Unterstützung des Datenaustausches von einsatzwichtigem Gerät und Personal sowie zur Unterstützung des logistischen Meldewesens.

Effective Visible Execution (EVE)
EVE ist ein Software-Tool zur Lagedarstellung des Aufmarsches und der Verlegung von Truppen und deren Material sowie sonstiger Marschbewegungen. Dieses Software-Tool wird im ÖBH bereits erfolgreich verwendet. Es dient zur Erstellung eines aktuellen Lagebildes für den gesamten grenzüberschreitenden Militärverkehr in Echtzeit durch Vernetzung aller relevanten Daten und erstreckt sich von der Planung von Transporten, der Verfügbarkeit von Transportmitteln, der Bearbeitung von Überfluggenehmigungen, der Vorbereitung bei Lufttransportumschlag, der Bereitstellung der transportrelevanten Daten von Cargo durch die Heereslogistikzentren, weiters über die Transportübersicht Passagier und Cargo, zur Transportverfolgung bis hin zum Abschluss des grenzüberschreitenden Transportes.

EVE ermöglicht eine Zusammenarbeit in Echtzeit zwischen allen einbezogenen Dienststellen und führte zu einer wesentlichen Vereinfachung und Beschleunigung der Abläufe. Die Implementierung dieser Software wurde ebenfalls durch die Quartiermeisterabteilung initiiert und umgesetzt.
Seit dem Beitritt zu ATARES am 13. März 2012, wurden durch die österreichischen Luftstreitkräfte bereits ein Flug für die Deutsche Bundeswehr sowie zwei Flüge für die dänischen Streitkräfte zu den Missionen auf dem Balkan geflogen. Abgerufen wurde ein Flug von den belgischen Luftstreitkräften für einen Besuch des österreichischen Verteidigungsministers beim UNIFIL-Kontingent im Libanon.

Resümee
Der Beitritt zu MCCE und ATARES war ein wichtiger Schritt zur Interoperabilität im Lufttransport innerhalb des europäischen Verbundes. Weiters wird durch diese Mitgliedschaft der steigende Bedarf an strategischem Transportraum, der im ÖBH nicht verfügbar ist, kosteneffizient extern abgedeckt.


Autor: Oberst Rudolf Ebenberger, MSD; Jahrgang 1959; 1981 Ausmusterung TherMilAk; 1984 Aufklärungszugskommandant/PzStbB3; 1989 Stabskompaniekommandant/PzStbB3; 1992 S3/PzStbB3; Nov. 1992 – Juli 1993 Kdt/PzStbB3 (mit der Führung beauftragt); 1996 S4/PzStbB3; 2002 S4/3.PzGrenBrig; seit Dezember 2002 BMLVS/Quartiermeisterabteilung/Referent Verkehr &Transport. Internationale Kurse: Cooperative Binate 98/Tallinn 1998; Operational Staff Officers Course/OAG 2001; NATO Logistic Course/Aachen 2001; Peace Support Operations Course/OAG 2002; Multinational Crisis Management Course/OAG 2003; ADAMS Basic Course/Latina 2004; Multinational Joint Logistics Center Course/OAG 2004; Operational Logistic Planning Course/OAG 2006; Int. Senior Logistic Course/Oslo 2007. Einsätze/Internationale Übungen: J4/Cooperative Guard Rendsburg/Munster 1997; J4/Cooperative Determination Aserbaidschan 2001; 21st Theater Support Command/Kaiserslautern 2003; Afghanistan 2005.

The NATO Travel Pool Centre

In Eindhoven, The Netherlands, sits one of the most important logistical facilities of the military alliance. Under the leadership of a German colonel the MCCE ensures that weapons get to crisis areas and soldiers to military training – and that the Bundeswehr is spared embarrassment.

MCCE-BW2The most secure space of the centre is a room without windows. No one can listen in on conversations there, the location is only accessible through several levels of security. Colonel Reinhard Krell walks past the door. “We need this meeting room maybe once every two weeks” he says. Only when it comes to highly sensitive tasks: For instance when soldiers were killed in operations abroad and are to be brought home, the air transport is discussed in here. The general public would not yet know of the deceased, hence the secrecy. The logistics unit of NATO, the Movement Coordination Centre Europe at Eindhoven Air Base, is also handling such delicate tasks.
The 58-year-old Colonel Reinhard Krell is heading the MCCE for over a year. Under him are currently 32 soldiers from 17 nations, all of them “the best men from their countries” as Krell says. Each week they receive between 20 and 50 transport tasks and ensure their implementation.

Currently, hell is going on: Krell’s people are bringing tanks, jeeps, ammunition as well as hospital beds or complete infirmaries into and out of crisis areas. Even with the deployment of troops, the evacuation of diplomats or Special Forces, Krell’s specialists are involved. They use aircraft,ships or trucks of the participating NATO countries. The refuelling of fighter jets in the air is also one of their tasks: With access to all 62 tanker aircraft of the member nations the MCCE provides something like the largest free gas station above the clouds.
As in a huge transport pool centre, the MCCE organises every conceivable transport task for the military – even if it is sauna stones for Finnish soldiers in their camps abroad. The MCCE currently has 25 member nations, Slovakia will soon join as number 26. The logistics centre on the upper floor of the red brick building in Eindhoven makes all military transports of these nations visible.

MCCE-BW3This morning ten soldiers sit inthe open-plan office, each one in front of multiple displays. They look at charts and flight plans, they know every air transport of the member nations. On a window sill stands a world atlas with red illuminated digits: For each major region the local time is visible. For instance, the British Army sends a Boei ng 747 from Brize Norton Air Base to Camp Bastion Airport in Afghanistan every week. This week the Belgian Army needs space for some containers on part of that leg, the Swedes require cargo space on the way back. The soldiers in the MCCE match supply and demand. In a private company, they would be called forwarding agents or transport brokers. It is an unparalleled facility. And the cooperation is of enormous help to the nations’ armed forces, some of which are in a somewhat poor state. For example, the Bundeswehr.

Recently, once again a Transall aircraft had to stay on the ground. It was supposed to bring trainers and equipment to Erbil in northern Iraq, but could not take off because of technical defects. Out of 56 Transall aircraft only 21 are fully operational. For the NH-90 helicopters, there are two – out of 33. The transport equipment of the armed forces is outdated, in part dating back to the times of the Korean War. Only with the cargo aircraft Airbus A400M, of which the first aircraft is currently entering service, the situation should improve. In the end, for the flight to Erbil, NATO partner The Netherlands flew the urgent German delivery.

Recently, Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen received a alarming study report on the current state of the Bundeswehr. Verdict: The federal government squanders billions of euros when procuring defence equipment, and its state of maintenance is often poor. Neighbouring countries are the same: France’s air transport fleet is grounded, the first A400M successor aircraft are constantly on mission. Smaller NATO countries are unable to meet their transport requirements. The logistics unit MCCE, established in the year 2007, was designed precisely for that reason: as a neutral NATO facility, to resolve their transport problems. If necessary, also with unconventional means such as the current use of the Russian cargo plane Antonov. An employment that is controversial at the moment, given the difficult relationship with Russia.

At the edge of the airfield of the military base in Eindhoven stands one of these largest transport aircraft in the world, a white-blue Antonov of the Volga-Dnepr company. The cargo plane, two and-a-half times as big as the new A400M, has lifted its nose up. Dutch soldiers are loading vehicles into it. “Without the Antonov, NATO could not fulfil its tasks” says Colonel Krell. Using the bypass of a “sub-community” of 12 nations and with a long-term contract his logistics unit can utilise the much desired freighter. Unless the operating company just hired it to Siemens or another industrial group. Because of the ailing fleet of the Bundeswehr, this kind of solutions are inevitable, also from the perspective of the Military Commissioner of the Bundestag. “We have to live with the current overaged aircraft. The gaps must be filled with other means” says the Military Commissioner Hellmut Königshaus (FDP) to the “Welt am Sonntag”. This could be achieved with civilian transport providers or through increased cooperation. “If old aircraft are put out of service, but new ones have not yet been delivered, interim solutions are needed. Here, a European facility can help” says Königshaus with a look to the MCCE. Surplus transport capacity could be better utilised “if it is offered jointly on a European level”.

Precisely this is the objective of the logistics centre in Eindhoven, and the soldiers there enjoy amazing autonomy. “This is my first job without a boss” says Colonel Krell, who during his career has already served on 16 postings. Even from the Ministry of Defence no one tells him what to do. On the state of the Bundeswehr and its causes, Krell expresses himself with restraint. Investments in the old unit, as he calls the Transall, were stopped prematurely. “Specialists are not everywhere” says Krell. But the pressure from the Parliament to reduce the armed forces is enormous. “No one knew in advance how much would transpire” he says and he refers to the crisis areas in which Germany is involved.

The logistics centre starts working as soon as national armies ask for it. And this demand is increasing: From 2012 to 2013, the brokered freight volume has quadrupled, and it will continue to increase this year. Member nations in 2013 alone filed a total of 350 requests for airlift, from January to August 2014 there were as much as 400. The tasks are complex: Krell’s soldiers make flight plans and arrange for overflight permissions, even in remote areas. They order the gasoline for refuelling and even search for hotels for the crews. Inland surface transport and sealift are also included. If required, the MCCE can deliver each transport to the front door or barracks entrance. Currently, for example, the logistics centre is planning the NATO exercise “Trident Juncture”, which will be held next year in southern Europe.

MCCE-BW1

The transports are not paid for with money, because that would make the system complicated and inflexible. Instead, flight hours are credited: The basis is the C-130 transport aircraft, one flight hour with that is the currency. For instance, the French army currently requires two of these equivalent flying hours for one flight hour of their more expensive Airbus A310. These equivalent factors are updated annually. Those, that are too expensive and hardly booked, will reduce their rates, the market sets the price. The soldiers in the MCCE calculate every match into these units, all is retraceable for all in spreadsheets. However, too high a “debt” is also in this system taboo: Each nation can be maximum 600 flight hours in the red. A similar system applies to the land and sea transport.

Still, the material advantages for the member nations can be calculated also in money: According to their own statements, nations save at least a five-digit amount of money per match through the work of the MCCE as opposed to using civilian transport companies. For that, Krell and his men do nothing else all day but seek and use spare capacities. For example, the Danish army has contracts for special ships of the civilian ship owner DFDS. These are Ro-Ro ships, the ramps of which are in the side and that are therefore able to take on board heavy tanks even in shallow harbours. This fleet is on their regular routes available to all member nations of the MCCE. The Dutch in turn have a particularly economical bus company at hand: If soldiers need onward transport after a flight to their base, the logistics centre reverts to that contract.

Colonel Krell is in the planning area, a soldier from Turkey is briefing the day’s work. The man is wearing a collar and tie, while a British colleague in sand coloured fatigues looks like he came in from desert deployment. A Frenchman in a short-sleeved shirt joins. “This one you can send with a knife between his teeth everywhere, he will get through” Krell says of the paratrooper. He has seen many soldiers. Right after school, Krell began as a grenadier in the army and has since then worked his way up: To battalion commander in Erfurt, department head at the Ministry of Defence under Franz Josef Jung, and the NATO Head Quarters in Lisbon. For him there seem to be no unsolvable problems. As a toddler, Krell miraculously survived a tragic accident. He was less than two years old when he fell into a tub of boiling water on his parents’ farm in northern Hessen. More recently he was hit by a car in Lisbon while riding his motorbike to NATO. He broke his hip. Yet, little seems to startle the wiry soldier. Deployments have brought Krell in almost all crisis areas. For months he was in Afghanistan, he knows Sudan or Mali as well as other countries in Africa.

When Hurricane “Katrina” devastated the southern United States, Krell was deployed on site and coordinated aid transports. And after the earthquake in Pakistan in 2005 with 100,000 dead, Krell was several months on site. He knows the work on the streets: With dollar bills in hand, Krell went out and got trucks and drivers for transports inland. Those were his most satisfying missions, as he says today. There could soon be more of this kind of humanitarian operations. In the large conference room Krell asks his soldiers for a spontaneously convened conference call: Half a dozen organisations want to bring relief supplies to the countries affected by the Ebola epidemic in Africa. This fits the latest offer of the MCCE: The busy Krell has just brought the Member Nation Austria to show in Eindhoven to other NATO countries a special operating room. The medical device can be carried on cargo aircraft and doctors can operate in it during flight. With the MCCE orientation on humanitarian aid, Colonel Krell pursues yet another goal: He wants to enlist the United Nations as a member.

Another major task: The logistics centre must reorganise the redeployment of troops and equipment from Afghanistan. As of 2015, the current transport route will be blocked. Because NATO does not want to renew the transit agreements for the route, that also runs through Russian territory. The prerequisite is to cover as many kilometres as possible by freight train. After sealift, that is the most economic means of transport. Krell’s people have already found an alternative route up to the Black Sea. It leads through states like Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan or Azerbaijan. For the negotiations on that, Krell took Turkish, Polish or Czech colleagues with him, all of who speak Turkish – which helps in for instance Azerbaijan. “I live here

on what my men bring with them” says Krell. And sometimes that is a red canoe. A British soldier who is about to begin in the MCCE, had the long, slim boat transported to Eindhoven. Now it is in the ground floor of the building. For the Brits, that was quite easy to solve, as their service members are allowed to bring luggage up to 50 kilograms for free on their duty travels. Krell likes this harbinger of the new man, even if he has not yet met him personally. He expects his people to do sports.

Whether Krell would also accept a carpet? The Colonel smiles, he understands the hint: The former Development Minister Dirk Niebel, currently a lobbyist for the defence industry, once took a carpet with him from Afghanistan and had the Air Force bring it to Germany. “For us that would only go through a task from the Ministry of Defence” says Krell. And its ministers had not yet filed such a request.

Source: Welt am Sonntag

Movement Coordination Centre Europe as model

Colonel Reinhard Krell is the Director of the Movement Coordination Centre Europe and was invited to brief the ALCDF participants on what the MCCE is and how it might be useful.

The MCCE provides cost saving alternatives for member nations by utilizing air, land and sea transport assets owned or leased by national militaries of members or supported agencies. Currently, there are 25 member nations (23 European, Canada and the U.S.) who pay an annual fee that allows them use of these assets. The MCCE does not own the assets; instead they serve as a coordinator of assets not in routine use.

Initially conceived as a maritime asset coordination effort, a similar one for airlift was developed; then seven years ago the MCCE was formally stood up to include both maritime and airlift. The MCCE is located on the Eindhoven Military Air Base in The Netherlands, alongside the European Air Transport Command (EATC).

“Our currency is measured in flying hours. An example would be if Germany uses an asset owned by Sweden, then Germany is minus three air hours and Sweden is plus three, then that can change as each country uses assets, so there is no money flow here. No one needs to be concerned with getting reimbursements in this system – that is where the cost saving comes in. We have about 30 people from 17 nations at MCCE; I’m German, my deputy is from Norway and our Chief of Staff is Turkish. Now that is partnering,” said Krell.

“My purpose for being here at the ALCDS is to show the African partners what is possible – maybe MCCE can serve as a model for them. It would only take about four or five nations to come together and form their own organization like we have done,” said Krell.

More info:
http://www.africom.mil/newsroom/article/12107/senior-leaders-gather-to-address-logistics-challenges
http://www.africom.mil/newsroom/article/12101/ethiopia-hosts-africom-funded-africa-logistics-capacity-development-seminar

 

Air-to-Air Refueling activity within MCCE

COORDINATING THE SHARE USE OF MULTINATIONAL STRATEGIC LIFT AND AIR TO AIR REFUELING ASSETS

MCCE_AAR1 Air-to-Air Refueling (AAR) is accomplished in order to provide a rapid response, an increase in range and extend the Airborne Operations (in time and/or range) for a wide variety of Military Assets.Planning and carrying out those missions are a time and money consuming business. Based on these facts, the MCCE AAR cell was created in an effort to optimize the employment of existing and future assets of the participating nations in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their capabilities. The AAR Cell’s role is to coordinate between MCCE member nations in order to fulfill different requests of support in accomplishing routine AAR training, taking part in major exercises and/or long range deployment operations.

The planning and scheduling of such a limited amount of tanker resources available inside a very much congested European Airspace is also a major concern for the Movement Coor- dination Centre Europe (MCCE) AAR Cell. Therefore the AAR Cell has also been involved in improving Air Space Management (ASM). A dedicated Air Space Management Officer inside the AAR Cell is working for this matter in order to improve ASM within the various Single European Sky (SES) initiatives coordinated by EUROCONTROL and other EU agencies involved.

In an age of crisis and budgetary constraints, it is essential for European Countries to seek integration, interoperability and cooperation in order to maximize synergies, thereby redu- cing unessential costs. The AAR shortfall in Europe has been recognized especially during real operations (as demonstrated during Operation Unified Protector), and occasionally the shortfall affects national training requirements. The political level of ambition for European Countries to conduct real and sustained air operations in the European Area of interest/Influence, where power projection and massive usage of AAR missions are indispensable, might not be achievable, due to the shortage of AAR assets.

For this reason, the EDA (European Defense Agency) has promoted several initiatives both for the long and short term in order to minimize the AAR shortfall in the coming years, divided into 4 main pillars.

MCCE_AAR2Pillar 1: Short term solution (led by EDA) is focused on AAR service, based on commercial AAR services (CAARS).
Pillar 2: Short-medium term solution is focused on optimization of existing assets and organizations:
Pillar 2a (led by EATC) deals with harmonization of current AAR procedures to efficiently and effectively employ existing and future MRTT (Multi Role Tanker Transport) assets;
Pillar 2b (led by MCCE, EDA and IT) deals with the certifica- tion issue between new tankers and fighters which pre- cludes, presently, AAR multi-national activity;
Pillar 2c (led by UK) deals with GBR offer of Spare Voyager AAR Capacity;
Pillar 2d (led by EDA and MCCE) deals with DIC TA for the AAR missions flown all over Europe;
Pillar 3: Medium term solution (led by EDA) is focused on A400M AAR services through the acquisition of AAR pods and kits

Pillar 4
: Long term solution (led by NLD) is focused on the com- mon acquisition and operation of a new strategic tanker.

MCCE_AAR3The MCCE/EDA Pillar 2a is related to Certification of Tankers and Receivers. The AAR cell recognizes the lack of certifi- cation of new European tankers (such as GBR voyager, ITA KC767, DEU A310MRTT) against several European tactical fighters as the main limiting factor for interoperability and integration. As more than 180 bi-lateral clearances are still missing in Europe, the AAR cell is proposing a more coordinated procedure which, respecting national procedures, would allow European nations to save time and money for preparing paperwork and the related flight testing in or- der to certify receiver assets and Tankers.

Flight testing will be coordinated by the AAR cell through ATARES multi-national sorties. Proposed procedure will be tested through the certification of ITA KC 767 against several receiver platforms during the year 2013.

In line with this project MCCE AAR Cell is also coordi- nating the test flight between the nations which are done on a bilate- ral agreement basis.

In February 2013, following a political decision to deploy the German A310 to Senegal to support the French fighter aircraft for AFISMA (African-led International Support Mission to Mali), an urgent AAR clearances process was required. Within a short notice, a test flight campaign has been coordinated from MCCE AAR cell in order for French fighters RAFALE, MIRAGE 2000 and the MIRAGE F1 to obtain AAR clearance against German A310. In more details, after the ground tests performed on the 19th February 2013 in MONT-DE-MARSAN Airbase at the Air Force Operational Evaluation Center (CEAM in France) to check the technical compatibility between the different assets involved, MCCE AAR Cell has successfully coordinated the last part of the certification process of French receivers against German A310 MRTT.

MCCE_AAR5
In particular, last 20th and 26th February 2013 the AAR Cell has provided support and expertise in order to coordinate French and German assets, maximi- zing synergies and minimizing flying-time required in order to ful- fill test flights required for the certification.

The first mission was fully dedicated to the RAFALE on SIMONE Refueling Area and the second one on CECILE Area in order to support RAFALE, MIRAGE 2000 and MIRAGE F1. The two-day flying test activity, successfully coordinated by AAR cell of MCCE allowed all Receivers to achieve bi-lateral full clearance.

AAR in European Defence News

MCCE-EDA2Pan-European air-to-air refuelling clearance trials underway
The EDA, Italy and the Movement Coordination Centre Europe (MCCE) havejointly organised the first collective European air-to-air refuelling (AAR) clearance trial on the Italian KC-767. Starting on 5 September, aircraft from France (one Mirage 2000, one Rafale) and Sweden (three Gripens) participated in the campaign to obtain technical and operational AAR clearances for the Italian strategic airlift tanker. AAR is a critical European capability gap and one of the eleven Pooling & Sharing priorities of the EDA. Mandated by EU Defence Ministers in March 2012, EDA is engaged in four work strands in this domain: short-term gap filling; optimisation of existing assets; optimisation of AAR capacity offered by the future A400M fleet and enhancement of Europe’s strategic tanker capability by creating amultinational Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT)capability.

“Italy’s AAR clearance initiative 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, we would have welcomed more nations to participate in the clearance campaign”, said Claude-France Arnould, EDA Executive Director. Technical and operational clearances are mandatory to provide or receive fuel and they are thus a prerequisite to interoperability in multinational operations. Taking place in Italy at Decimomannu airbase from 5 to 12 September, France and Sweden were able to perform the necessary ground and in-flight tests to obtain missing AAR clearances.
MCCE-EDA1

Today Europe can deploy 42 tanker aircraft of twelve different types for which more than 40% of required clearances are missing.While for critical requirements and war-time operations clearances limited to a specific operation can be issued on a case by case basis, this campaign allows for a coordinated approach for full and unrestricted clearances. This increases the flexibility of AAR operations and facilitates immediate deployment of assets in future.

Source European Defence Matters Issue 04 2013 (a magazine of the European Defence Agency)