At the completion of the latest flying course, the multinational Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP) at Albacete graduated four new leaders for complex rescue missions to add to the pool of tactical NATO air experts. From June 7 to 18, the annual 2021 Rescue Mission Commander (RMC) Flying Course took place at the multinational TLP at the Spanish Air Force Los Llanos Air Base in Albacete some 250 km southeast of Madrid. Spanish Eurofighter and EF-18M combat aircraft, Spanish Super Puma and Sea King and French EC-725 Caracal helicopters created a realistic environment providing challenging training scenarios for Extraction Teams from Greece and France and instructors from the Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, the US and the United Kingdom Spain.
“Training NATO’s future Rescue Mission Commanders to seamlessly integrate Combat Search and Rescue or CSAR assets in a non-permissive environment is vital to our Allies,” said Lieutenant Colonel Zachary “ELK” Mellor, TLP Chief Flying Branch. “I am so proud of the instructors and students who have fully committed to making this course a success!” he added.
The TLP RMC Flying Course is intended to improve the tactical interoperability of all Allied Air Forces involved in a CSAR Task Force through exposure to tactics and capabilities of other Air Forces and to provide a flying laboratory for tactical employment concepts. The course focuses on weapons employment, survivor localization and protection tactics, coordination and protection of mixed type packages including fighter aircraft, rescue and combat helicopters and command and control or Airborne Early Warning from different nations. By providing expert knowledge and detailed teachings and debriefings, the RMC flying course will graduate each participant as a reference in Combat Search and Rescue missions, allowing them to spread this expertise through their unit and country.
Each day a different crew leads the mission as Rescue Mission Commander, or “Salty 1” through all phases. Participants will be exposed to Salty 1 to 4 specificities and responsibilities in low to medium intensity conflicts scenarios. TLP is a multinational headquarters composed of military and civilian personnel from the ten NATO nations participating in the Programme. The TLP’s main objective is to increase the effectiveness of Allied air forces in the field of tactical leadership and conceptual and doctrinal initiatives in support of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation and National Defence Forces. This multinational setup enabled practicing technical and tactical skills and helped develop flying capabilities of RMCs.