Originally, Royal Blackhawk was only a military exercise of the 1st artillery regiment. But, from the very beginning, it has taken on a particular depth through the presence of foreign partners
Helicopters, fighter planes and even ATL2s
Originally, Royal Blackhawk was only a exercise of the 1st artillery regiment, and eight years ago, from the first edition, it had taken on a particular depth through the presence of foreign allies. This year it is being held again with eight helicopters from the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade of the US Army from Germany (2 UH-60s, 2 CH-47s and 4 AH-64s), French, Belgian and British JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller teams, in charge of guiding the effectors). There will be around 400 participants, with support from regiments from the east of France, from the 1st Combat Helicopter Regiment (2 Cayman, 2 Tiger). Hunters from Nancy and Saint-Dizier also took part, with, on the 21st afternoon, an ATL2 from the Navy's 21F flotilla.
Launching rockets in all weathers
It is difficult in such a short time to integrate the declinations of the CEMAT's strategic vision on high intensity. The capture of a village on 21 October was, moreover, carried out with a favourable ratio of 3 to 1 in terms of manpower, but it is the trend that counts: edition after edition, realism increases, and this is the interest of the 1st RA, whose major equipment, the rocket launcher unit (LRU), capable of striking regardless of weather conditions at a distance of 80 km, is one of the elements per excellence of high intensity. The US Army's helicopters are too: more self-protected than their French comrades, with a much better passenger carrying capacity on the Chinook than on the Cayman.
Sahel and Lebanon
One of the CH-47s also illustrated the capacity of a 120 mm piece of mortar to be carried in its hold, with about fifteen servants and protective elements. The Caiman still cannot do it, the original floor is too fragile, even if a study is being carried out to be able to do so in the long term. The artillerymen of the 1st RA know that their LRU will take its time, even if, as a child of the Cold War, there was few uses: in the Sahel, with about ten rockets fired. Nevertheless, the regiment maintains personnel in self-replacement in the Sahel for the protection of the Forward Operating Bases, and in Lebanon, for the counter-battery radar Cobra: it remains, more than ever, at the heart of operations.