LANZAROTE, Spain - The 9th European Air Refueling Training (EART 23) takes place in Spain from October 16 to 27 2023 in Spain. Led by the European Air Transport Command (EATC), it is hosted by the Spanish Air Force at Lanzarote Air Base in the Canary Islands.
EART 23 is run in combination with the Spanish fighter exercise “Ocean Sky 23” operating from Gando Air Base in Gran Canaria, Spain. Tanker aircraft, crews and mentors from France, Italy and Spain participate in the annually recurring drills.
EART 2023 underscores interoperability among global tanker and jet communities
“EART 23 focuses on dissimilar multi-tanker formation and tanker-to-tanker rendezvous procedures,” said the training director, French Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Arnaud Viltart, Head of EATC ‘s Training and Exercise Branch. “The 23 edition emphasizes High Value Airborne Assets (HVAA) defence through threat reactions and retrograde procedures and underscores interoperability among global tanker and jet communities,” he added
A Spanish Air Fore A-400M tanker aircraft arrives at Lanzarote Air Base for the European Air Refueling Training 2023. Photo courtesy Spanish Air Force.
A European Air Transport Command marshal oversees taxiing of an Italian Air Force KC-767A tanker aircraft. Photo courtesy Spanish Air Force.
Touchdown of a French Air and Space Force A-330 MRTT at Lanzarote Air Base for refueling training with jet aircraft. Photo courtesy Spanish Air Force.
Three NATO Allies participate in EART: France with an Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), Italy with a Boeing KC-767A and Spain with an Airbus A400M. The close link to the multinational live-fly fighter exercise Ocean Sky, hosted by Spain at Gando Air Base, Gran Canaria, allows practicing common air-to-air refueling tactics, techniques and procedures in a multinational environment.
While the tankers are stationed at Lanzarote Air Base during EART 2023, the base does not have any permanently based military planes. It is used by Air Force troops and an EVA 22 air defence radar which covers the Eastern Canary Islands and the maritime area up to the Sahara. The military aircraft covering Spain’s Canary Islands are stationed at Gando Air Base, Gran Canaria.
From October 16 to 27, Gando Air Base hosts the main Spanish live-fly exercise Ocean Sky 23. The aim of the exercise is to train and evaluate the Counter Air role together with allied air forces, increase interoperability and flying skills among the jet community.