RARO12 aircraft complete
With the arrival of five Turkish F-16s, a German Learjet on Friday and of two German PC-9s and an L-39 fighter and an Mi-17 from Slovakia on Friday and Saturday, all the aircraft partaking in RARO12 have now arrived.
On Friday, 7 September, the RARO12 Exercise Director, Colonel (GS) MSc Harry H. Schnell, and the main RARO12 Czech Air Force representative, Colonel Miroslav Svoboda, welcomed the Turkish Air Force Detachment Commander Major Bircan Ermaya in front of the F-16. The aircraft flew in from Diyarbakir in the southeast of Turkey, where the 81st Fighter Squadron is stationed. The squadron is specialized in all types of Close Air Support or CAS mission, which are at the centre of the exercise. The accompanying C-160 transport aircraft returned to Turkey after off-loading personnel and support equipment for the fighter detachment.
Also on Friday, both officers welcomed the pilots of the German Learjet led by Mr. Hans-Heinrich Surborg. The aircraft is stationed at Hohn Air Base in the north of Germany and provided by a German contractor offering full motion video capability and other equipment to support the FAC training during RARO12.
On Saturday, 8 September, three waves of aircraft arrived. Welcomed by the Deputy RARO12 Exercise Director, LtCol Steven “Cajun” Behmer, Captain Radovan Cingel arrived in a Slovak Air Force L-39 fighter from Sliac Air Base in Slovakia. The light combat and training aircraft supports FACs during RARO12 just as the Slovak Air Force Mi-17M helicopter from Presov Air Base. The helicopter is specialized in transport and paratrooper operations, CAS and Search and Rescue (SAR) as well as fire fighting and air reconnaissance missions. LtCol Behmer welcomed the crew led by Captain Milan Zubricky and 1Lt Tomas Mafina at the chopper’s parking position.
From Kiel Holtenau air base in northern Germany, two German Pilatus PC-9 light aircraft provided by German Equipment Interior Services or E.I.S. aircraft contractor were the last to arrive at Namest Air Base in the early afternoon of 8 September. As the two distinct red, blue and white jets arrived at their parking position LtCol Behmer greeted the crews headed by Mr. Harald Wilhelm and Mr. Andreas Hug. The PC-9 will be used for aerial target demonstration.
From 10 September on, RARO12 will unfold with an intense and challenging training programme for the FAC teams from 13 nations. These teams will apply what they learned during the Pre-Deployment Training (held from 5 to 8 September) in various scenarios together with the aircraft at the Libava and Boletice training areas from 10 to 14 and 17 to 20 September.