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Exercise TAC EW
 
Latest update: February 2021
 
Tactical Electronic Warfare (TAC EW)
 
In the period from January 25 until February 12 exercise Tactical Electronic Warfare (TAC EW) is held over the Central and Eastern Netherlands. TAC EW is joint exercise of the Defense Helicopter Command (DHC) and units of the army. DHC  300 squadron (AS532-U2 Cougar) and 301 squadron (AH-64D Apache) crews are being trained in avoiding detection by enemy forces. The helicopters are flying as low as allowed and use natural obstacles such as a row of trees, a forest plot or a hill to cover themselves.

The DHC established a forward arming and refuelling point (FARP) to support the exercise. FARP crews set up a bivouac for ten days. For one day the FARP was set up at Deelen air base. The base being activated to support exercises where the DHC squadrons, 336 squadron (C-130H Hercules) and Royal Netherlands Army 11 Air Mobile Brigade work together. The FARP was then moved to the Arnhemse heide. The area is one of the low flying areas used by the DHC helicopter squadrons and is known as EHR 61 (Arnhemse Heide). An EHR is defined as “EHR: restricted area (in the Amsterdam FIR), defined area of airspace in the Amsterdam FIR within which flights are only conditionally allowed”.

On Friday February 5, the FARP was used during the day and saw two Cougars and four Apaches landing. After refuelling the helicopters left to conduct the next part of their assignment and then headed back to Gilze-Rijen AB
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Photo gallery
 
     
Cougars departing the FARP with a  sling load attached. The first Apache arrives at the FARP. 
     
     
Soon followed by the refuelling truck  The next flight of two Apaches arrives and hovers to its landing spot 
     
     
Refuelling in progress 
All four Apaches on the ground
 
with crews manning the fire extinguishers
     
     
FARP with support vehicles in the background.  The two Cougars completed their mission by unloading their underslung load  and performed a flyby over the FARP before heading back to Gilze-Rijen.\
     
     
Actros fire fighting vehicle Mercedes-Benz G280 CDI ambulance. One of the refuelled Apaches waiting for its colleagues  Maximum load on the pylons.
 
     
     
Overview of the four AH-64D's  at the Arnhemse heide (EHR 61) Refuelling completed with the flight 
     
     
     
departing the FARP  Three of the four "Redskins" who performed also a flyby and then
     
     
continued their mission.