MATC Operational English Language Training begins

Autor: Oldrich Holecek

Monday 3rd April was a significant day for the NATO rotary wing door-gunners community. Ten door gunners from Croatia and the Czech Republic began their four-week language training, the Operational English Language Course for Door Gunners (OELC-DG).

Opening of the OELC-DG Course (1)
Opening of the OELC-DG Course (1)

This unique course is coordinated by the Multinational Aviation Training Centre (MATC) and is being held at the Helicopter Training Point (HTP), Ostrava.

The OELC-DG was developed following the Czech Air Force requirement for operational English language training with the aim of unifying and instructing English terminology used by airborne gunners within NATO air crews. The course is being instructed by two experienced British Qualified Helicopter Tactics Instructors (QHTI). “The overarching objective is to focus on improving interoperability and the standardisation of procedures by combining the crews during training,” said one of QHTIs, Danny Hanson.

The tactical simulator is intended to be used in the final part of the course to simulate tactical scenarios in order to elicit the correct and timely use of key phrases from the students comprising door gunners from MATC countries such as Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. In the future, the intention is to extend the training to NATO/EU/PfP military units.

Norway has provided funds through the Multinational Helicopter Initiative (MHI) trust fund for two OELC-DG courses. This provision triggered an intensive preparatory effort with UK QHTIs visiting the 22nd Helicopter Base at Namest nad Oslavou to discuss the content of the course directly with the trainees. The British trainers have a long association with NATO/EU helicopter crews by successfully instructing the European Defence Agency (EDA) Helicopter Tactics Course (HTC) in RAF Linton-on-Ouse. The preparatory effort has laid a strong foundation for the OELC-DG syllabus which is in line with NATO and EDA training standards. The first course finishes on 28th April 2017.

The 2nd (OELC-DG-2) Course is scheduled for the term 22nd May – 16th June, 2017.

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By Nuala Casey and LtCol Jan Dubec

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April 7, 2017