Text: Serge Van Heertum - Pictures: Serge Van Heertum & Serge van Oosterzee - Translation: David Niemegeerts  © sbap 2016

Tactical Helicopter Procedures Update

The 2016 edition of this exercise, used to review, modify or improve tactical procedures for helicopters is held at Beauvechain AB in May.
This year's programmed exercise did not achieve its objectives, due to external circumstances. Indeed, the foreign participants that we could see in 2015, had to decline the invitation at the last minute, as they were called to operational theaters. It is obvious that the military operations against the growing terrorism, whose actions are truly hitting home hard right now, are having the highest priority.
However, in order to carry out the 2016 edition, the scenarios had been modified to integrate the entire helicopter fleet of the Air Component in the large exercise "Stormtide 3", which was held from May 29th until June 3rd.
This time, it was the meteorological conditions that changed everything. Given the storms, floods and other occurrences that Belgium had to suffer, the biggest part of the aerial operations had to be cancelled.
Due to this, the only images of THPU 2016 that could be taken were made during a special photographer session at Beauvechain AB, and during the presentation of the different demonstration teams. Please find some pictures of this rather sunny day, in stark contrast with the following days.
We would like to thank the authorities of Beauvechain AB for their reception, and facilities during the shoot.

Beauvechain Airbase home of the THPU (© Serge Van Heertum)
 Agusta A109BA  (© Serge van Oosterzee) A109BA pilot office (© Serge van Oosterzee)
Agusta MEDEVAC was also involved in the exercice (© Serge Van Heertum) MEDEVAC version interior (© Serge van Oosterzee)
(© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)
(© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)
 Aérospatiale SA.316 Alouette III  (© Serge van Oosterzee) (© Serge Van Heertum)
Airbus Helicopter NH-90 NFH  (© Serge van Oosterzee) Airbus Helicopter NH-90 TTH  (© Serge Van Heertum)
 (© Serge van Oosterzee)
 The old one...  (© Serge van Oosterzee) ...the new one  (© Serge Van Heertum)
 A big difference in the rotor technology between the Westlang Seaking Mk.48...
(© Serge van Oosterzee)
...and the Airbus Helicopter NH-90 NFH
(© Serge van Oosterzee)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)
 (© Serge Van Heertum)
 Other local based aircraft, but not involved in the THPU exercice  (© Serge Van Heertum)
 Siai Marchetti SF.260D  (© Serge Van Heertum) Piper L-21 Super Cub (© Serge Van Heertum)
 The COMAO of the day at take off  (© Serge Van Heertum)
 (© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)
 (© Serge van Oosterzee) (© Serge van Oosterzee)
(© Serge Van Heertum) (© Serge Van Heertum)

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