RAMSTEIN, Germany - Earlier in January, the Italian Air Force Eurofighter detachment supporting NATO's enhanced Air Policing in Romania conducted multi-domain training with the U.S. Army 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion of the 227th Aviation Regiment in eastern Romania.
Cooperation of Italian Air Force and U.S. Army on Romanian territory underscores the interoperability among NATO Allies and their ability to stage multi-domain drills together; this fosters cohesion of the Allied armed forces and their operational readiness
"Our air force team conducted Personnel Recovery drills with the U.S. Army; Personnel Recovery is often referred to as the life insurance for combat pilots", said Colonel Morgan Lovisa, commander of the Italian Eurofighter detachment at Mihail Koglaniceanu, Romania. "It was a very welcome opportunity to conduct this exercise here during our NATO deployment in Romania" he added.
An Italian Eurofighter pilot inspects the air intake of his jet during preflight checks at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania. Photo by Alessandro Nardella.
An Italian Eurofighter flies an overwatch mission as a U.S. Army Blackhawk approaches the extraction zone during the Personnel Recovery drills in Romania. Photo by Alessandro Nardella.
The activity consisted in the simulation of an operational scenario for the recovery of a downed pilot in hostile territory. Four Eurofighter 2000 aircraft were deployed to control the area identified and eliminate any threats. American Blackhawk helicopters then approached the extraction area to locate, secure and extract the survivor. On their way out of the extraction zone, Italian Eurofighters escorted the helicopters on their return to base move, where the downed pilot was taken care of.
The main objective of activities such as these is to accustom air crews to operate with different assets and in a multinational / multi-domain environment," said Colonel Lovisa. "Personnel Recovery missions – especially if they involve several nations – are complex and require a high level of training because participants need careful planning and comprehensive cooperation", he added.
"The cooperation of Italian Air Force and U.S. Army on Romanian territory underscores the interoperability among NATO Allies and their ability to stage multi-domain drills together; this fosters cohesion of the Allied armed forces and their operational readiness," concluded Colonel Lovisa.