Redbull hangár

Redbull hangár

2017. június 8., csütörtök

Load Diffuser military exercise - 2017 Kecskemét

Text: Gabriella, Photo: Nándor Emil Dudás

We were at the military Airport of Kecskemét a long ago, during the air show in 2017 last time, so when we were aware of the Load Diffuser military exercise being held there, we applied to the VIP and media day on 2nd June. As Emil noted appositely, it was a mini air show, taking that 7 countries participated with 11 different aircraft types as guests of the MH 59. Szentgyörgyi Dezső Air Base.

F-16 from National Guard

The line up was the following: F-16s and C-130s from the United States Ohio Air National Guard, Hungarian Gripens plus Mi-8, Mi-17 transport helis, Czech Gripens and L-159 Alcas, Croatian Mi-8s and Mi-17, Slovenian PC-9, Slovakian MiG-29s accompanied with L-39 Albatroses and Mi-8s and Eurofighters from the British Air Force. An AWACS was also appeared helping the airmen' work. The Czechs and the Slovakians joined the actual tasks taking off from their home base, the Eurofighters came from Romania where they have another military exercise, but the others participated in the training setlling at Kecskemét. That's why military leaders call this air exercise the biggest one in Hungarian airspace this year.
In this case, I always think of that what an enormous operative work is needful to transact an event like this, with special regard to the preparation. Talking with Captain Viktor Langó, it has turned out, that I was right. He was not only a pilot in this project, but acted as an organizer from the very beginning. He told us, that the cooperation with the Ohio Air National  Guard has started in 1993, but only the two nations participated in the former to Load Diffuser exercise, performing only air-to-air tasks. But this year, following the Hungarians' idea, neighboring NATO countries were also invited to the event, which they accepted with pleasure. (The Serbians would have also joined originally, as they also have a cooperaton agreement with the Ohio National Air Guard, but they had to fulfil other important duties in the end.) Thus smaller countries had the possibility to practice the NATO proceedings, the cooperation with the allied partners in a relatively large air space and to learn each others possibly different protocols. Captain Langó also told us, that the collation started a year ago. In the first phase, they talked over what the participants can give, what skills they want to practice, and appointed the air space. The weapon system of the aircraft types also influenced the possibilities.
The second phase was about working out the scenario, what wasn't easy taking the several different aircraft. It was another challenge to integrate the Typhoons into the program, who indicated their intention to participate quite late, but they had to accomodate to the script.

Captain Viktor Langó

" We see the basket. We can select from it and try to get the maximum of it. It's difficult to find a scenario which fits everybody and has a good training value."

The last phase was designated to work out the smaller details. A conference was held in every phase, when the representatives of the participants travelled to Hungary, asked questions, made phone calls to home and coordinated if the hosts can give everything what necessary and by when. Besides, there were several reconciliations on the phone and via e-mail. Many legal issues crop up, when soldiers from other countries stay here and a serious logistic planning is necessary to fulfil the requirements regarding the crew and the aircraft (cleaning the uniforms, food and accomodation for people, what kind of kerosene the planes need, etc., etc.).
The organizers made a very colorful exercise plan finally. Beside the 1 versus 1 and 2 versus 1 air-to-air tasks, they could practice air-to-ground close air support, strike coordination and recconaissance, beyond visual range, organized target destruction, air transport, parachute and search & rescue tasks as well. The last one was a simulation when 2 two-seater jets' pilots had to be rescued after ejection, while pilots could practice the related proceedings and could experienced even the real infusion connection as first aid. Another interesting part of the scenario was when during a simulated war task, the appointed air space was halved into two fictive countries and the participants had to act as defenders and an agressor team alternately. The de-breafing and the briefing after each task is also an important part of the exercise, as they evaluate the implementation and can share experiences.

Hungarian Gripen

Although the Load Diffuser was only at its three-quarter when we were there, the appeared military and diplomatic leaders could evaulate individulal and overall performance. They honorated the top performeres with coins, the overall execution with praising words. David Kostelancik, the Chargés d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Budapest didn't skim with the complimets regarding the great hospitality of the base and operating of the exercise, and acknowldged the efforts of the participating countries to keep freedom, peace and security. Tod D. Walters, Commender of the Unites Air Force in Europeo thanked everyone's excellent work. As he said: "We need hard, hard training to prove our readiness." Lieutenant General Zoltán Orosz, Phd, Deputy Chief of the Hungarian Defence Forces highlighted the improvement of aerial combat technics and sharing each other's technics and procedures as the values of the exercise.
They won't let the useful organization experiences of this years Load Difuser lost, this event will be held every third year.

We would like to say thank you to the Hungarian Defence Force's communication experts  for the possibility to be there.

The Americans are arriving

The Learjet what brought the foreign leaders with jet escort

Hungarian Gripen

Hungarian Gripen

The diplomatic and military guests are arriving

David Kostelancik

F-16s in the foreground

Tod D. Walters

Croatian Mi-8 MTV-1

Hungarian Gripen

Slovakian Alca

Slovakian Alca with special painting

Slovakian Alca

Slovakian Mi-17M


Lieutenant General Zoltán Orosz in the middle

Tod D. Walters, Zoltán Orosz and Brigadier General Csaba Ugrik the base commader at Kecskemét

The military attaches of South Korea and Iran accredited in Budapest also attended the event

The author and the photographer