MONTE REAL, Portugal - Real Thaw 2018 (RT18), the Portuguese Air Force led live-fly exercise to evaluate and certify their operational capability, concludes at Monte Real Air Force today.
"The Portuguese Air Force is proud of having conducted a successful multinational and joint live-fly exercise Real Thaw 18 with our Allies,” said Lieutenant-Colonel João "Jedi” Rosa, the Portuguese exercise coordinator. "Real Thaw 18 has been all about working together, pushing the limits and fighting for what its worth fighting for – honing our professional flying skills, jointness and interoperability,” he added. "Things have gone exactly as planned,” Jedi assessed. "All participants made awesome contributions and we have been able to fly all Air Tasking Orders as planned,” he added. These so-called ATOs specify the planned flying missions during any operation.
During the exercise, participants from Portugal and five Allied countries have successfully executed about 400 sorties during 600 flying hours. Joint Tactical Attack Controllers used the aircraft from Portugal and Denmark to accomplish over 35 slots in support of ground forces; nine medical evacuation training missions took place; and NATO and French Airborne Early Warning Controlled planes in eight of the eleven composite air operations (COMAO) performed. The contractor Cobham Ltd flew electronic warfare missions with their DA-20 jets, prompting participating aircraft to take protective measures. During live-firing sorties, some 1,500 rounds of 20 mm ammunition and over 30 live weapons were fired.
The Portuguese Air Force conceived Real Thaw 18 as an objective-driven exercise allowing all Portuguese and Allied participants to benefit most from the training. "We are pleased to confirm that all the set squadron goals have been achieved,” Jedi concludes.
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Story by Portuguese Air Force and Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office