The RNLAF Helicopter Commands TAC Blaze of 2012 begins.
Despite a slight delay due to poor weather in the Netherlands the RNLAF latest biannual deployment to Carlisle got underway again on March 12th, all be it with a reduced number of aircraft being deployed this time around. The aircraft detached to this exercise were three CH47ís of 297Sqn and one AS532 Cougar of 300Sqn the reduction was due in part to the recent defence budget cuts made by the Dutch MOD. In spite of the reduction of aircraft, the number of air crews on the course remained the same as in previous years. So in order for the RNLAF to maintain its commitment to their training schedule by using fewer aircraft, extending the time frame would be the answer. What had normally been a two week deployment at this stage of TAC Blaze has now been extended to three. Being a three week course also has the benefit of allowing the planners the scope with which to rearrange training schedules should the program suffer delays due to reasons beyond their control, i.e. technical reasons or the weather.
TAC Blaze is part of the Royal Netherlands Air Force continuing obligation to maintaining crewís skills and readiness. On the course there is a mix of new and existing air crews. The experienced air crews are here to remain current in their combat readiness and the less experienced crews are here to gain experience in how to remain safe within a hostile environment.