Exercise Report : Exercise High Blaze 2014
Exercise HIGH BLAZE 2014
RNLAF Apache and Chinook helicopters training in Italy
Valter Marchetti visited the Royal Netherlands Air Force helicopter deployment at Rivolto Air Base during Exercise High Blaze.
From May 12 to 28, 2014, about 150 men and women and eight helicopters from the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) 298 and 301 Squadrons were deployed at Rivolto Air Base in the Friuli Region, northeastern part of Italy. Rivolto AB bases the 2° Stormo (2nd Wing) of the Italian Air Force, and is also the home of the Frecce Tricolori aerobatics team.
The deployment, named HIGH BLAZE, is an annual exercise held by the RNLAF to deploy and train their AH-64 Apache and CH-47 Chinook crews to fly in high terrain, provided by the nearby mountains of the Alps and Dolomiti. The exercise is organized within the framework of international defense cooperation between NATO member countries and partners. In the past the RNLAF deployed to Frosinone Air Base, home of the Italian Air Force’s Helicopter Flying School, 72° Stormo, but since 2012 the exercise has moved to Rivolto.
The exercises conducted by the deployment are supported by 2° Stormo in terms of logistics and technical aspects. Additionally, HIGH BLAZE presents an opportunity for 2° Stormo personnel responsible for the operational readiness of the Spada missile defense systems to train against "slow movers" threat at low altitude.
During the media day held at Rivolto AB, we were able to witness some of the activity and talk with the RNLAF personnel about the exercise. We also had the opportunity to see the Apache Solo Display Team , which performed a spirited display. Although flown with the Q-04 instead of the “Hawk”, the team’s dedicated aircraft Q-17, and without the AMASE pods and flares, the performance was enjoyed by everyone present.
With many thanks to Lt. Giovanni Lopresti of the 2° Stormo P.A.O. and to all associated ItAF and RNLAF personnel for their hospitality and support.
Report and photos by Valter Marchetti ( view portfolio )
Last Modified: 8 June 2014