For the third year in a row, Portugal is hosting the Hot Blade helicopter exercise in Ovar airbase, near Porto. Supported by the European Defence Agency, this event is attended by 25 helicopters and about 3.000 military personnel for two weeks of intense cooperative training between the six participating Member States. Organised as part of the European Defence Agency’s Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP), Hot Blade 2014 is hosted by the Portuguese Air Force for the third time since 2012. Ovar airbase, located 40 kilometers south of Porto, is now home of 25 helicopters and their crews for the two weeks of the exercise, with a total of 3.000 military personnel directly involved in the event.
Six European countries have brought their rotary-wing aircraft to Ovar for the event: Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom. Observers from Italy, Sweden, Hungary, Brazil and NATO Special Operation Forces Headquarters (NSHQ) will also attend.