The military participate in simulations such as in-flight refueling, convoy escort, FARP and RAFE/LAFE
Air Force Agency, by Lieutenant Letícia Faria and Major Oliveira Lima
For this fifth edition of Joint Exercise Tápio 2022, held at Campo Grande Air Base (BACG), in Mato Grosso do Sul (MS), the Exercise Management (DIREX) brought a series of new features, such as in-flight refueling between KC-130 Hercules aircraft and H-36 Caracal helicopters, the Convoy Escort with support from the Brazilian Army (EB), the Forward Arming and Refueling Point (FARP), and also the recovery of a person through the Escape and Evasion Support Network / Escape and Evasion Support Line (RAFE/LAFE).
The Co-Director of EXCON Tápio 2022, Lieutenant Colonel Aviator Ulysses Nepomuceno Guimarães, highlights the increase of simulations in the Exercise, expanding the operationality of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) military. “With the objective of always evolving during the Exercise editions and providing a more complex and dynamic training for our crews, in the 2022 edition of EXCON Tápio, we seek to insert four more missions in the scenario,” comments the Officer.
REVO¹: between KC-130 and H-36
The first mission unheard of in Tápio was the In-Flight Refueling of rotary-wing aircraft. “This technique was trained by our pilots in the beginning of the second semester of 2022, in a specific Technical Exercise where they trained the technique of In Flight Refueling involving a KC-130, from Gordo Squadron, with the H-36 Caracal, from Falcon and Puma Squadrons. Now, at EXCON Tápio, the great challenge was to insert this technique in the operational context, requiring great coordination of our crews so that a Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) Task Force can plan and make use of the in-flight refueling capability to increase the autonomy and range of the rotary wing aircraft,” he explains.
The second mission was convoy escort. COMPREP conducted a doctrinal study, developing Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs), making it possible during EXCON Tápio 2022 to carry out the mission. “The convoy escort is the realization of an Approximate Air Support for the benefit of a convoy of vehicles, which would be transporting materials or even military personnel from one point to another in an area of operations. Here, we had the support of the Brazilian Army composing a convoy of six Marruá-type vehicles and the A-29, A-1M, and R-99 aircrafts, providing all the coverage and fire support,” says the officer.
According to Lieutenant-Colonel Guimarães, the accomplishment of the mission was considered fundamental by DIREX, because it required close coordination between the leader of the fighter aircraft formations and the convoy commander, assisted by the sensing of the reconnaissance aircraft, providing great situational awareness and security for the convoy.
The third novelty in this edition was the implementation of the Forward Arming and Refueling Point (FARP). “In the exercise, we did it in two ways: the first one using the Bonito Airfield (MS), refueling using C-105 or SC-105 Amazonas aircraft refueling rotary wing aircraft, the H-36 and the H-60, where we refueled directly from the fixed wing aircraft tanks to the helicopters. The other way was using Brazilian Army vehicles, where the trucks refueled the helicopters at pre-planned remote points on the ground,” he says.
The last unprecedented mission, and accomplished in Tápio, was the so-called Network of Support for Escape and Evasion/Line of Support for Escape and Evasion (RAFE/LAFE). “In one simulated scenario we had a pilot who ejected in a hostile area beyond the CSAR Task Force Rescue Limit Line. This pilot was inserted in this Escape and Evasion Support Network and, with support from the Special Forces, of the Brazilian Army, would reach a region where this military would be taken back to the friendly lines,” details the Co-Director of Tápio 2022.
¹Aerial refueling, also referred to as air refueling, in-flight refueling (IFR), air-to-air refueling (AAR) – in portuguese in Portuguese the acronym REVO is used for in-flight refueling (reabastecimento em Voo)
Video: Sergeant Ronan / CECOMSAER – Photos: Sergeant Bianca Viol and Sergeant Viegas / CECOMSAER
*** Translated by the DEFCONPress team ***