Monday 3rd April was a significant day for the NATO rotary wing door-gunners community. 10 door gunners from Croatia and Czech Republic have commenced their four-week language training – Operational English Language Course for Door Gunners (OELC-DG). This unique course is coordinated by MATC (Multinational Aviation Training Centre) and is held in the facility of Helicopter Training Point (HTP) Ostrava.
OELC-DG was developed following the Czech Air Force requirement for operational English language training with the aim to to unify and instruct English terminology used by airborne gunners within NATO aircrews. The course is instructed by two experienced British Qualified Helicopter Tactics Instructors (QHTI). “The overarching objective is to focus on interoperability and standardisation of procedures by combining the crews during the training”, said one of QHTIs, Danny Hanson. The tactical simulator is intended to be used in the final part of the course to simulate the tactical scenarios to prompt the correct and timely use of key phrases by students – door gunners from MATC countries – Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Croatia. Later, the intention is to extend training to NATO/EU/PfP military units.
Norway provided funds through the MHI (Multinational Helicopter Initiative) trust fund for two OELC-DG courses. This provision triggered intensive preparatory effort with UK QHTIs visiting 22 Helicopter Base at Namest to discuss the content of the course directly with the trainees. The British instructors have a long association with NATO/EU helicopter crews, as they have been providing the EDA (European Defence Agency) Helicopter Tactics Course (HTC) in RAF Linton-on-Ouse. The preparatory effort laid the good foundation for the OELC-DG syllabus, which is in line with NATO and EDA training standards. The first course finishes on 28 April 2017.
The 2nd (OELC-DG-2) Course is scheduled for the term 22 May – 16 June 2017.