Updated: 14-May-2013
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FCMD NCOs Education and Training Programme

HQ FCMD ESP ARMY AVIATION UNIT Visit

Written by Spanish Army OR-9 Juan Pedro GARCIA DEL PRADO
Photos by Spanish Navy OR-5 Francisco BLANCO

April 9th was the day for the visit to the Spanish Army Aviation Unit at Base "Coronel Maté" in Colmenar Viejo, Madrid.

A couple of previous visits for preparation and arranging details gave shape to this activity, which started at 0900 h when the bus left the FCMD HQ with 32 participants of six different nationalities.

The bus arrived at 10:00 hrs at the Army Aviation Base, and was escorted to CEFAMET (Centro de Enseňanza de las FAMET), where SGM VEGA, the CSM to HQ FAMET, was waiting for the group.

From there, the group moved to a Meeting Room where BG SANCHO SIFRE, Army Aviation Commander, welcomed the FCMD members and gave a short overview of what Spanish Army Aviation is at the moment. After this, CSM VEGA gave a presentation on History, Organization, Deployments and Training in the Spanish Army Aviation.

After a coffee break, the group visited the Simulation Center to see the simulators and trainers for different helicopter models and the technology used for their control. Any airport or military base and any meteorological conditions can be loaded in the Database and displayed for flying practice. All FCMD members visited also the SITAC (Tactical Simulation Control Center) from where exercises combining different simulation stations can be controlled and executed.

Some participants had the chance to sit in one of the simulator cabins and fly around one of the scenarios set up in the trainers.

To continue with the visit, people moved to the apron where the three different helicopter models at that Base were on display. Participants had the chance to touch and appreciate closely every helicopter, taking pictures and receiving detailed information on the specifications of each model.

Finally, all the group visited the Historical Room, or Museum, where had the possibility to see a Historical Picture overview of the Spanish Army Aviation. A collection of uniforms, flying suits, Unit Flags, etc., were also displayed.

Before leaving, BG SANCHO SIFRE came down to say goodbye to the visitors, which took the chance to have a photo group all together in the main square of the Base. CSM DEL PRADO offered BG SANCHO SIFRE a FCMD Crest, and received a book on the Spanish Army Aviation.

The visit finished with an informal lunch at a Restaurant in Colmenar Viejo, accompanied by CSM VEGA, who shared this meal with the group. CSM VEGA received a FCMD Coin from SGM DEL PRADO who thanked him for his cooperation and help in organizing this event.