Supercruise Aviation - Article
European Air Refuelling Training, EART 2018 - Eindhoven airbase

Since the introduction of this Air Refueling Training back in 2014, EART is currently organized on a yearly basis and runs concurrently with the multinational Frisian Flag fighter training exercise, organized by the Netherlands Air Force (Klu). EART is a dedicated AAR (Air tot Air Refuleling) focused multinational training for tanker air and maintenance crews. It provides the nations with a unique opportunity to train their air crews in planning and executing mission within complex and realistic multinational scenarios, they are not exposed to in peacetime AAR operations.

The aim of EART is to train tanker crews, planners, taskers and engineers, including maintenance personnel, in air-to-air refuelling operations. Thanks to the effective pooling with the Dutch Frisian Flag fighter exercise,
EART offers a unique opportunity to the nations to train their tanker and fighter crews in planning and executing missions within a realistic and multinational framework.
The crews increase their know-how in complex multinational scenarios and exchange information and procedures among tanker and fighter crews. Moreover EART facilitates the certification processes between tankers and receiver aircraft.

Whereas objectives focused in the past on a yearly cross “combat ready” training for tankers and fighters, the future will be oriented towards the certification process for participants.

The 2018 edition of the European Air Refuelling Training, EART, took place from 9 to 20 April 2018 at Eindhoven Air Base. Germany, the Netherlands, France and for the first time, a non EATC member nation, the United States, participated under EATC’s lead. Aircraft arrived on 6th and 8th April. Only to see that the french Tanker flew one mission on the first monday of the exercise before heading back to its homebase Istres/Le Tubé due to more important commitments. These commitments also applied for the american Tanker and the american Tanker did not fly one single mission for the exercise before it flew back to its homebase Mildenhall in the UK. So during the exercise period only the Germman and Dutch Tanker provided air refueling capacity.


The Netherlands KDC-10 from 334sqn and based at Eindhoven
Germany A310-304MRTT from FBS BMVg and based at Köln/Bonn
France C-135FR from BR108 and based at Istres/Le Tubé
USA KC-135T from 351st ARS and based at Mildenhall, UK


Report and photos by Edward Antonissen