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HWIC at Bergen-Hohne

Helicopter Weapons Instructor Course’08

The Dutch Air Force (‘Koninklijke Luchtmacht’) organized the 3rd Helicopter Weapons Instructor Course in 2008. This 13 week course is organized for pilots, gunners and loadmasters of the Dutch Air Force helicopters. The aim of this course is to:
-maintain the current level of knowledge of the Dutch military helicopter community
-develop and maintain the Tactical Standard Operating Procedures (TACSOP’s), adding ‘lessons learned’ from recent Afghanistan operations into the Course,
-train the course members so they can to pass-on their obtained knowledge into their units

The 3rd HWIC consists of theoretical lessons, simulator lessons and live exercise lessons. 3 live exercises were planned during the Course: HWIC-Recovery: whereby the insertion and recovery of combat forces is trained HWIC- Polygone: whereby electronic warfare and electronic counter measures are trained HWIC-Strike: whereby live-firing is trained. During the last item (HWIC-Strike), live-firing was trained at the ”Trupen Übungs Platz Bergen” in the northern part of Germany, north of Hannover, between October 27th and November 7th 2008.

The dutch DHC (“Defensie Helicopter Commando”, Defence Helicopter Command) sent 4 Boeing AH-64 Apache, 2 Boeing CH-47 Chinook and 1 AeroSpatiale AS-532 Cougar helicopters. And the German Army (HEER) sent 2 Bolkow-105 anti-tank helicopters to the exercise ground in Germany. Bad weather (fog, low clouds) hampered the flying operations; during the second week there were only a few flying moments. On November 6th a Media Day was organized, but all morning mission were cancelled due to the fog. A small patch of improved weather allowed for a mission in the afternoon.

The afternoon mission consisted of 3 parts that were performed on ‘track 6’ of the exercise ground. First, the AH-64 Apaches cleared the area by firing their canon and some unguided missiles. When the area was cleared, Dutch troops were inserted by the Chinook and Cougar helicopters. Some 15 minutes later the Chinook and Cougar helicopters returned to pick up the troops, whereby the Apache helicopters supplied Close Air Support by firing their canons. The 2 German Bo-105 helicopters performed the final part of the live-firing exercise. These anti-tank helicopters fired a number of HOT missiles (Haut subsonique Optiquement Téléguidé = High Subsonic Optical Guided) at a fake targets. After landing, the Bo-105 pilots unloaded the empty rocket cases and left the cases on the ground.

Thanks to Maj de Jong (Gilze-Rijen PRO) and his team for the support during the Media Day.

All photo's:
G.J.A. van Boven
H.P.A.M van Eupen
© Sentry Aviation News

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