To aid this, eight Composite Air Operations (COMAO) missions included live firing at shooting ranges, using all available assets in complex, realistic environments. This provided a dynamic environment for combat search and rescue (CSAR), alongside other training opportunities including Special Operation Forces (SOF), Special Patrol Insertion/Extraction (SPIE) training, embark/disembark procedures, air-to-surface live firing, air assaults, combat service support, close air support, convoy/helicopter escorts, reconnaissance and surveillance, personnel recovery, medical evacuation and casualty evacuation.
An international mentor team involving Helicopter Tactic Instructors (HTI) from Austria, the Netherlands, and Sweden provided expertise, mentoring, and standardization during the planning and execution of all COMAO missions. Austria and Slovenia provided a multinational Joint Tactical Air Controller (JTAC) team and Electronic Warfare (EW) emulator systems, and the European Air Group (EAG) successfully delivered a Forward Arming Refueling Point (FARP) Force Integration Training.
Military and civilian authorities from the participating countries were present at the Distinguished Visitors Day (21 June). A COMAO mission demonstration took place, allowing guests and members of the Hungarian and International media to witness the capabilities of the assets involved.
European Defence Agency (EDA) Project Officer Rotary Wing, José Pablo Romera, recognizes the importance of EDA helicopter training activities, and in particular the ‘Blade’ exercises. During the closing ceremony he thanked the Hungarian Defence Forces, including Pápa Airbase, the Hungarian Exercise Control team, and combat and support elements, along with the participants for their contribution to a successful exercise, culminating in the expected training objectives being met.
FIRE BLADE 22 accounted for 730 sorties, 425 flight hours, and the shooting of 15,700 rounds of ammunition.
Since 2009, 16 Blade exercises have been performed in eight different European countries with the next EDA helicopter exercise, the Hot Blade 2023, taking place in Portugal at Beja Air Base No. 11 from 7-23 June 2023.