On February 6, 2023, an Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft conducted air-to-air refueling training over Germany with eight Eurofighters providing training for both jet pilots and refueling crews. Taking off from the Multinational MRTT Unit (MMU) Cologne forward operating base at Germany’s Special Air Mission Wing, the A-330 flew to a training area over northern Germany where it conducted several refueling runs with eight German Air Force Eurofighters from tactical air wings 31 and 71.
Coordinated air-to-air refueling is indispensable to ensure successful execution of operational missions also in the framework of the Deter and Defend mission and enhanced Vigilance Activities NATO Allies are conducting on the eastern flank. Both the EATC and the MMU have played a key role in planning, preparing, coordinating and facilitating this air-to-air refueling support in an Alliance and multinational context.
“Today we provided critical training to German fighter pilots. The pilots of the ‘receivers’ practiced refueling tactics, techniques and procedures allowing them to apply these in real-world missions. It has also been an excellent opportunity for our own Air Refueling Operators to simulate this tactical environment and help keep their skills current,” said Lieutenant Colonel N. who is a flight commander within the Multinational MRTT Unit (MMU).
One element of these operation is the deployment of various nations’ fighter aircraft for air patrols in airspace of eastern member nations showing readiness and resolve to better protect Alliance territory and populations. Supported by air-to-air refueling, the fighter jets take off from their home bases or forward-deployed Allied aircraft carriers, transit to their mission areas the eastern flank, conduct Air Patrols and return to their take-off locations. Monday’s event was organised by the MMU, the European Air Transport Command and Allied Air Command.