Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) has concluded the contractor-owned, contractor-operated (COCO) air combat training mission with the US Air Forces in Europe/Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA).

The first COCO training outside the US aimed to improve the training readiness for the country’s air force in Europe.

HII developed the training programme over a period of 16 months up until the start of the air combat training mission.

It also helped in integrating all the components that are functional with European governments, regulatory agencies and USAFE-AFAFRICA.

Under the air combat training programme, US Air Forces in Europe were provided with an opportunity to assess training effectiveness and interoperability of COCO training for their forces in the European theatre.

Apart from being economical, it also increased the combat equipment training and service life.

Top Aces served as the teaming partner and provided Douglas A-4N Skyhawks for adversary air support during the training programme.

HII Technical Solutions division ISR business group president Garry Schwartz said: “Adversary training enhances the US security defence posture, enables freedom of movement, fosters global security and increases combat effectiveness.

“HII is proud to have assisted in this groundbreaking effort in partnership with Top Aces to bring advanced COCO adversary aircraft training to USAFE-AFAFRICA’s fighter squadrons.”

Work was executed as part of a multi-role operations task order for US Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.

This was launched by the US General Services Administration under a single acquisition solution for an integrated services contract.

Schwartz added: “December’s flights with the US Air Force in Europe’s 480th Fighter Squadron Warhawks at Spangdahlem Air Base, were the culmination of months of work by the HII team and partner Top Aces.

“We presented sophisticated contractor adversary air training with advanced capabilities to a front-line fighter squadron within the unique constraints of Europe’s regulatory and airspace environment. Although this type of training has become commonplace for US-based fighter units, this is the first assessment in USAFE-AFAFRICA’s European area of responsibility.”