Exercise Green Blade

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The Belgian ministry of defense, supported by its Luxembourg counterpart, is organizing Exercise Green Blade on 18 September to 5 October within the framework of the European Defence Agency's (EDA) helicopter training program.

Belgian Defense photo by Nicolas Deplanque

Green Blade will be held concurrently with Exercise Pegasus 2012 organized by the Belgian Special Forces Group.

The two exercises will be closely linked and will take place mainly from the Belgian air base at Kleine-Brogel, which will serve as the hub for all rotary-wing operations, but also in the Belgian provinces of Antwerp, Namur and Liege and Luxembourg. Some 800 troops participating in the exercise will be supported by 18 helicopters from Belgium, Germany and Italy.

Exercise Green Blade will consist of three modules. The combat enhancement training/force integration training module will allow participating helicopter units to familiarize themselves with Belgian airspace, air rules and exercise-specific operating procedures, to perform cross-training, rehearsing common drills, techniques, tactics and procedures between helicopter and supported ground units, and to conduct non-tactical training flights using night vision goggles and flying nap of the earth.

During the second and third modules, units will analyze, plan and execute special operations missions -- insertion/extraction, hostage rescue, personnel  recovery -- with the possibility of more conventional missions like airmobile operations, medical evacuation, and reconnaissance and surveillance. The second module will be conducted from Leopoldsburg barracks in exercise areas mainly in northern Belgium and the third module from a forward operating base in southeastern Belgium, from which helicopters will be able to perform a forward arming and refueling point procedure.

Exercise Pegasus 2012 will be a special operations force exercise with major helicopter support and missions such as insertion/extraction, hostage rescue, direct action and day/night personnel recovery using one or more helicopters, with the possibility of more conventional missions like those conducted during the second and third modules of Exercise Green Blade.

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