A highly successful European Air Group (EAG) Force Protection (FP) Seminar was held this year at Kleine Brogel Air Base in Belgium, from 06-08 September. FP representatives from the seven EAG nations, along with the Norwegian Air Force, SHAPE J3 and AIRCOM A3 gathered together to discuss national capabilities, share operational experiences and inform the Air FP community about FP within NATO.
The first day of the Seminar was mainly focused on presentations from NATO J3 FP, AIRCOM A3 FP and national presentations from Belgium, Italy and Germany.
The second day began with a demonstration organised by the Belgian Operations and Evaluation
Centre (OEC) Force Protection in Leopoldsburg of the Ground Domination capabilities. The demonstrations began with some scenarios of Close Quarters Battle (CQB) and Intervention Techniques and Tactics (IT&T). These scenarios demonstrated the different techniques available to airmen, ranging from BPT, sprays, judo techniques and how to use the appropriate level of force in a complex air-ground environment and in accordance with the threat. The second part of the demonstration showed a Belgian Security and Response Team (SRT) being engaged by hostile
forces whilst dismounted and how they were able to counter and neutralise the threat whilst taking care of a casualty at the same time (Care Under Fire and Tactical Field Care). All of the scenarios
were carried out using training ammunition and weapon kits (Small Arms Marking Ammunition System & Small Arms Target Ammunition System) so that individuals could work with their personal weapons and use them safely in a 360° training environment. Participants also had the opportunity to shoot with the modified weapons at prepared targets.
The afternoon session featured a static display that allowed participants to view the different FP equipment available in the Belgian Air Force. Dedicated training equipment was displayed, as well as other equipment including the new FN-303 pistol, the recent SCAR rifle 5.56mm and its HP version 7.62mm, the F-2000 rifle, the 5.7 pistol and combat gear. The afternoon’s demonstration concluded with a vehicle display, featuring the latest version of the Lynx together with Self Protection System (SPS).
The final day of the Seminar was dedicated to national presentations from the UK, Norway, Spain, the Netherlands and France. A specialist briefing about C-SAFIRE was also given by the FP Centre of RAF Honington.
The Seminar was well organised and extremely well-received by all of the EAG Nations and participating organisations. The next seminar will be held in the Netherlands in 2017.