Florennes - Black Blade
From 14 November till 2 December Florennes was the host base for exercise "Black Blade 2016". The exercise organized by the European Defence Agency (EDA) is part of the
Helicopter Exercice Programme (HEP) which was signed for 10 years (from 2013 till 2022) by fourteen nations. These exercises enhance and optimize the operational capacity
of helicopter crews via mutual training, sharing of experience and by development of common flying techniques and tactics. The primary mission of this exercise is to train
helicopter crews and Special Forces in Special Operations missions. For the exercise thirteen helicopters supported by 375 persons, came to Florennes. Austria participated
with three AB-212 and two UH-60A Black hawks, Slovenia with one Cougar and Belgium with five A.109 and two NH-90MTH. Nineteen missions were flown during day and night. The
helicopters flew in the Belgian Helicopter Training areas in the Antwerp province and the Ardennes. On Thursday 17 November we were invited at Florennes Air Base to see the
participating helicopters from up close. On Friday 18 November we witnessed a Special Operations mission on the military domain at Arendonk.