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Week 33 – Northern Europe Operational Update

BRUNSSUM, The Netherlands – On Monday 10 August, the second airplane in NATO’s future fleet of multi-role aircraft arrived at their Main Operating Base in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, coming from the production facility in Getafe, Spain. By the end of 2024, the full fleet will consist of eight Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft, with an option to extend the contract up to eleven. The Multinational MRTT Fleet (MMF) will provide strategic transport of people and cargo, substantially enhance European air-to-air refueling capabilities and will be available for medical evacuation, if needed. Six NATO Allies have pooled resources to make this initiative possible: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway. The effort has been supported by NATO and the European Union, demonstrating effective cooperation between the two organisations to deliver critical capabilities for their members. The aircraft will belong to the Multinational MRTT Unit (MMU), they are owned by NATO and managed by the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), with the support of the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation. They will be operated by multinational crews comprised of military personnel from the participating countries. Besides the crest of the MMF, they also display the roundel of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, since the Dutch assumed lead nation status for the project. The Netherlands and Luxembourg initially launched the programme in July 2016, later Germany, Norway, Belgium, and the Czech Republic joined in. Apart from Eindhoven as the Main Operating Base hosting five aircraft, the fleet will also operate out of a Forward Operating Base in Cologne-Wahn, Germany.

During Exercise Saber Junction 2020 (see article previously published) the US Marines are showcasing the Corps’ aviation strength with the deployment of their MV-22 Osprey aircraft. The Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Africa, belonging to the United States Africa Command, flew three Ospreys nearly 2.000 kilometers from their base in Morón de la Frontera in southern Spain to Grafenwöhr in Bavaria, Germany.

We are here to conduct joint training with the Army that will highlight our aviation assets and afford us the opportunity to train”, said Marine Osprey pilot Captain Elijah Smith

The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is an American multi-mission, tiltrotor military aircraft with both vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capabilities. It is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.

Story by Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum Public Affairs Office

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