NATO skywatch

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NATO skywatch
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Skywatch magazine
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North Atlantic Treaty Organization skywatch
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NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen skywatch
Airborne Early Warning & Control Force (Geilenkirchen, Germany) ( issuing body )
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Geilenkirchen, Germany
NATO HQ- Airborne Early Warning & Control Force
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Airborne warning and control systems -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Security, International -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
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Security, International ( fast )
Periodicals -- NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen ( lcsh )
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Periodicals ( fast )


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"An authorized, unofficial commercial enterprise newspaper"
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NAEW&C Force

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Next NATO Skywatch: 20 November Submissions due by: 12 November Familiarization Program faces challenges of the Force See page 3NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen 6 November 2009 Volume 25, No. 21 Top Gun over the Mediterranean Training Wing crews participated in Sardinia Tactical Air Ranges ExerciseSee related article on page 8Israeli Air Force F-15I aircraft ready for the start.Photo Lt. Col. Raimond Schulz


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6 November 2009 NATO Skywatch 3 NATO Skywatch is an authorized, unofcial commercial enterprise newspaper published under exclusive written agreement with the NAEW&CF E-3A Component by HOUX DIGIPRINT, Arendstraat 3, 6135 KT Sittard, +31 (0)46 4582111. Opinions expressed by contributors are their Volume 25, No. 21 6 November 2009 own and do not necessarily reect the ofcial views of, or endorsement by, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The appearance of advertising in this publication, including inserts or supplements, does not constitute an endorsement by NATO of the products or services advertised. Submissions are due seven days before publication and may be edited for style and space. Send articles and classied advertisements to the NAEW&F E-3A Component Public Affairs (PA), Postfach 433007, D-52511 Geilenkirchen, or base distribution Mail Stop 33. Call PA at (02451) 632480 or fax (02451) 7936 or e-mail For paid advertisements call Hub Durlinger media at +31 (0) 46 452 9292, fax +31 (0) 46 452 9285 or Articles may be reproduced after permission has been obtained from the editor, provided mention is made of NATO Skywatch. To see the NATO Skywatch online visit Commander Brig. Gen. Burkhard Pototzky Chief, Public Affairs Capt. Jolene Ortiona Editor SMSgt. Johan HijmenbergFamiliarization Program faces challenges of the ForceText and photos Capt. Jolene Ortiona From 12-15 October, approximately 40 members from Force Command, the E-3A Component, NAPMA and NAPMO/ BOD and the E-3D and E-3F Component had the pleasure of a whirlwind tour during the Force Familiarization Program. The Program is designed for new personnel posted to the Force to gather a better understanding of the challenges the Force is facing. It also provides an opportunity for members across the spectrum of the Force to meet and exchange ideas. This year, Lt. Col. Ger Wagtelenberg and SMSgt. Tom Fawaz, Force Command, were the directing staff for the tour, which began on Sunday 11 October with the arrival of the out-of-town guests to Geilenkirchen. Monday, 12 October was spent at the Component with briengs from Force Command and Component leadership. The tour members also had a tour of the aircraft and a tour of the ight simulator Whirlwind tour is not an exaggeration as Tuesday included a trip to FOB Aktion, Greece complete with a tour and briengs and then ying on to FOB Trapani, Italy. Wednesday was the busiest day because it included breakfast in Trapani, Italy, lunch in Avord, France and nally the tour arrived at Waddington, UK for dinner. The tour was well-organized and every place welcomed the tour members with kindness and hospitality. The tour was the perfect forum to build the relation-ships needed for interoperability between managing members of the Force. Members of the Force Familiarization Program were greeted with great food and hospitality at every location.  A traditional meal of sh and chips was served in Waddington. The members of the tour posed with FOB Trapanis leadership. The ight crew safely delivered the group to all its destinations. The tour members were always happy to disembark the aircraft because it meant a new location and new delicacies.


4 NATO Skywatch 6 November 2009 By SMSgt. Johan Hijmenberg For many people in other parts of Europe, Luxembourg is best known for its radio and television stations of the RTL Group, the largest TV, radio and Production Company. It is also the uplink home of SES Astra, the carrier of major European satellite services for Germany and Britain. The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, a constitutional monarchy, is an independent sovereign state ruled by a Grand Duke, located between Belgium, France and Germany. The country is 84 km long and 52 km wide and hereby it is one of the smallest countries in Europe. The written history of Luxembourg starts in the year 963, when Siegfried, Count of the Ardennes, and founder of the Luxembourg Dynasty, had a castle built on the territory of the present-day capital of Luxembourg. This castle was the origin of the establishment of a town, which later was to develop into a formidable fortress, known by the name of Gibraltar of the North. At its height, the fortress was girdled by three ring walls studded with 24 forts, and linked underground by a 23kilometer network of casemates. In 1994, Luxembourg City was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. Also it was the rst city to be named European Capital of Culture twice, the rst time in 1995 and the second time in 2007. Especially the Petrus Valley (Petrus Tal) is a feast for the eyes, said Mr. Christian Lentz, who works for (TCA) contract company Cargolux and is one of the few residents of Luxembourg working on base. From the valley you have a splendid view on the fortress and of hiking trails and old gardens. The town itself has old pubs and restaurants and is certainly worth a visit. When Count Siegfried built his castle he didnt know that his home was to become the cradle of one of the smallest, yet one of the richest countries in the world. The industrial sector, which was dominated until the 1960s by steel, has diversied to include chemicals, rubber, and pother products. In the past few decades, growth in the nancial sector has more than compensated for the decline in steel. Services, especially banking and other nancial exports, account for the majority of economic output. Luxembourgs contribution to its defence and to NATO consists of a small army, not even 1,000 people. As a landlocked country, it has no navy, and it has no air force. Despite that, its a full member of the E-3A Component. The country rescued the Component in the early eighties. The international regulations governing military air trafc stipulate that all military aircraft must bear national makings and be registered in a country. So, it was impossible to use NATO insignia to register the Components aircraft. Notwithstanding the fact that Luxembourg doesnt have its own air force it offered to register the aircraft and that is why the Luxembourg Lion adorns the tails of the E-3A and Trainer Cargo Aircraft. The country is divided into two clearly dened regions. The Oesling in the north, which is part of the Ardennes, on the western rim of the Eifel, and covers one-third of the territory. It is a wooded country of great scenic beauty. The Good Country in the centre and the south, covering the remainder of the territory, is mainly rolling farmland and woods. Its bordered in the east by the wine-producing valley of the Moselle, and in the extreme southwest by a narrow strip of red earth which forms the Luxembourg ironore basin. Luxembourg is a small peaceful island in Europe, said Lentz, who after 22 years in Germany is still proud of his country of birth.Small and beautiful Bourscheid Castle. Photo Serge Moes Mllerthal: The Schiessentmpel waterfall in the little Switzerland area of Luxembourg.Photo Marc TheisLuxembourg by night.Photos Luxembourg Tourist Ofce London. Used with kind permission.


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6 NATO Skywatch 6 November 2009 By Maj. Kirk Stahlbaum In the beginning of October, the Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP) in Spain ofcially stood up at Albacete Airbase. More than 100 ofcials from the ten NATO nations participating in TLP were on hand for the opening ceremony, which was hosted by the Spanish Air Force. The guest speaker was the Spanish Air Force Chief of Staff, General Jose Jimenez-Ruiz. TLPs primary mission is to train mission commanders who, in a span of a few hours, organize, plan, and execute air operations involving multiple military aircraft and aircrew. The 15-sortie ying course syllabus includes offensive air operations, close air support, air interdiction, and combat search and rescue. The Tactical Leadership Programme originally started at Furstenfeldbrueck AB Germany in 1978. A year-and-a-half later it moved to Jever AB where it remained until 1988. The program then moved to its most recent home at Florennes AB Belgium where it trained NATO personnel for the last 20 years. For more than 30 years the TLP has trained thousands of aircrew, many of whom have participated in multiple combat actions around the world since the mid-1980s. Alumni include numerous general ofcers in the various NATO air forces as well as combatant commanders. General Jiminez stated in his opening remarks, Albacete will be the focal point in Europe for our warghters to stimulate change and to enhance the tactical capabilities of our air forces. While focusing on the recent completion of the 21 million euro TLP complex, complete with new hangar and dormitories for 500-plus visiting students and support personnel, General Jiminez concluded, Our aim is learning how to work together in the most effective and efcient manner, giving our pilots and aircrews the tools to win wars, the tools to keep our air forces as relevant in the future as they have been in the past. In addition to the six 4-week ying courses conducted annually, TLP performs on average 15 academic courses ranging from Electronic Warfare and Composite Air Operations, to Air Defense Systems, Personnel Recovery, and Air-Land Integration. One course a year is held for members of the Partnership for Peace, eagerly seeking to include basic NATO functions to their emerging joint capabilities. The rst ying course for TLP Spain is scheduled from 9 November to 4 December 2009, and will include participants from the NATO E-3A Component at Geilenkirchen who will perform support for both blue and red forces, as well as act as a white force to enhance training goals and objectives. For more information about participating in both ying and academic courses, visit the new TLP webpage at: The Tactical Leadership Programme opens in Spain Since 1 October Albacete Air Base, Spain is the focal point in Europe to train mission commanders. Photo courtesy Maj. Kirk Stahlbaum Services Squadrons Sentry Club pizzas are famous! At the start of the serving line you will see a wooden plate indicating, We are making the worlds best pizzas and in small letters and we are the judges. But it really is true this Italian national dish is one of the most ordered items on the menu. Due to the enormous usage, the old pizza oven broke down just a few days ago. As we did not want to disappoint our customers, we had to work fast and replace the oven. Luckily, our Procurement Ofce found a supplier, who could deliver the new oven in almost no time, said Mr. Helmut Tellers, the Sentry Club Manager. Now with the help of soldiers from the German Support Unit the brand new toy is in place and working. We would like to thank our customers for their support by offering as special discount in the coming week. If you present the attached voucher when buying a pizza, you will receive a free Spirit of Georgia soft drink on top. Also, for your further information, the delicious Lindt Fioretto chocolate pralines are now back in stock for the Christmas period. The 850gr bag is on offer for just in all MWA Clubs. New Pizza Oven at Sentry Club! Wednesday, 25 November 1630 to 2100 at the IDH. The dinner is open to all Component ID cardholders plus two guests. Tickets will be on sale until 13 November at the IDH from 1100 to 1300. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Ticket prices as follows: Adults ; children 3-12 ; children under 2 free. White/red wine (large), ,50 (small). There will be ve 45-minutes interval-eating times from which to choose. Eating times are: 1630-1715, 1715-1800, 1800-1945, 1845-1930 and 1930-2015. For more information, please contact the Food Services Branch at ext. 4935 or 4930.International Dining Hall Thanksgiving Meal Photo PAO archive


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8 NATO Skywatch 6 November 2009 Decimomannu, known as Deci, on the sunny Mediterranean island of Sardinia is well known for its European ghter community and outstanding air combat training facilities. STAREX (Sardinia Tactical Air Ranges Exercise) 2009 was the place to be for a spectacular air defence exercise with command and control provided by a NATO E-3A, manned with crews from the Training Wing. The exercise was hosted by the Italian Air Force and included 5 F-15I Eagles and 5 F-16I Sufas from the Israeli Air Force (IAF). The Italian Air Force contributed with 10 F-16s, 10 Tornados, 6 AMXs and 4 AV-8s from the aircraft carrier Garibaldi and Euroghter aircraft ying daily sorties out of Grosseto, which is situated in Tuscany on the mainland of Italy. In total more than 40 ghters turned and burned for two weeks, using all methods of advanced air warfare tactics. Training Wing Exercise Director Major Sergio Manfre deployed 82 crewmembers, split into 2 crews, Advon and maintenance personnel to Sardinia. As Deployment Commander for this exercise many times, I believe this years exercise once again offered spectacular training only two ying hours from our home base. A huge over-water Air Combat Manoeuvring Installation (ACMI) around the island offers unique training possibilities with far fewer restrictions than Central Europe. In Sardinia it is possible to drop chaff and ares, y supersonic and use Electronic Counter Measures Jamming pods. Flying days were divided into 3 periods. Morning and noon events were normally Combined Air Operations (COMAO) a large scale exercise with an average of 30 participating aircraft each. Afternoons were reserved for Air Combat training. Aircraft Commanders Maj. Andrea Franceschinis and Capt. Willem Hadders piloted the rst weeks A-Crew. They launched every day shortly before lunch to cover the 2nd COMAO event. Final mission details were received via radio from Lt. Col. Fabio Militello while the E-3A was airborne. Weapons Controllers built dynamic mission scenarios and tactics on the y. Fighter Allocator Capt. Juan Vazquez Moreira designated the ights to his two Controllers: Capt. Yadira Greeson took the Red Air Migs, simulated by Italian F-16s, in the northern part of the training area, and SMSgt. Kris Wouters, controlling the blue force, took the attacking F-15s and F-16s into the southern tip of the STAREX airspace. All Israeli ghters are equipped with a helmetmounted aiming vision system, the Elbit Dash System, which is worldwide the best. It allows the pilot to visually follow the target and release the Python missile that is so agile that it will kill any airplane in any situation. The true motto of the Israeli pilots is kill what you see. Only 10 minutes after takeoff from Deci the ghters, with call signs like Sniper, Hammer, Stingray or Arrow, were ready for their 60-minute area time and started the engagement scenarios. With good planned tactics and excellent defensive directions given by Tactical Director Maj. Ignacio Nacho Lanzat the blue F-16 force were able to defend us against the attacking ghters from Israel, which tried to attack our aircraft, call sign Magic. Initially they claimed hits on us. However, after each mission an intensive debrief with video analysis and voice recorder replay assessed the capabilities of the ying and controlling crew and in the abovementioned event it turned out that the claimed hits on us were invalid shots. So the AWACS crew and the defending Italian F-16 pilots left the ACMI building to go for a victory Espresso. An unusual sight for European jet jockeys was the long hair of the Israeli reserve pilots. In civil life they have occupations such as computer engineers or students and y normally only once per week. Sometimes up to 70% of a squadrons personnel are reservists but their performance was still outstanding. The IAF ofcially claims that it has never lost a ghter in direct air-to-air combat. This underlines the great achievements of Israeli training, said Maj. Joshua K., an experienced instructor F-15I pilot. Every day they launched all their scheduled sorties without a single abort resulting from technical causes. There is no doubt that the IAF today is arguably the worlds best-trained and most capable air arm. Controlling, preand debrieng, and arguing face to face with these experts from Israel and Italy was an absolute highlight for every participating aircrew member. The entire exercise was a fantastic experience for the two NATO E-3A crews. The events described above continued over the two weeks and a signicant improvement in combat tactics was noted. Training Wing is already hoping that NATO AWACS will be back in Sardinia next year and is looking forward to the next STAREX. This helicopter landed at Geilenkirc hen Air Base Do y ou kno w what it is? SEE PA GE 14 The Airbus A300 (B4 Cargo), which landed on 22 July at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, is a shortto medium range widebody aircraft, which is a large airliner with two passengers aisles, also known as a twin-aisle aircraft. Its the worlds first twin-engine widebody and, launched in 1972, the first product of the Airbus consortium of European aerospace companies, wholly owned to day by EADS. Airbus Industry was formally set up in 1970 following an agreement between Arospatiale (France), the antecedents to Deutsche Aerospace (Germany). They were to be joined by the Spanish CASA in 1971. Each company would deliver its sections as fully equipped, ready-to-fly items. In 1972 the A300 made its maiden flight. The first production model, the A300 B2, entered service in 1974. Initially the success of the consortium was poor, but by 1979 there were 81 aircraft in service. It was the launch of the A320 in 1981 that established Airbus as a major player in the aircraft market. The A300 B4 was the major production version and features a centre fuel tank for increased fuel capacity. Production of the B2 and B4 totalled 248. Photo Amn David PohlCollective soul playing at JFC HQ BrunssumThe JFC Community Activities Section (CAS) is extremely proud to announce that Collective Soul will be the next performer in our NATO 60th Anniversary concert series. Collective Soul is one of the most successful rock bands of the last two decades and they continue to enjoy major commercial popularity on alternative and mainstream rock radio. They have scored 4 platinum albums and 7 #1 singles, in the USA, with standout songs like Shine, December, The World I Know and others. This FREE powerhouse show will be held in the JFC Alliance Theatre, on Tuesday, 17 November at 1930. ALL JFC, NATO, USAG Schinnen and Geilenkirchen Airbase personnel are welcome, so bring your friends for an unforgettable night of LIVE music and FUN! The venues maximum occupancy is 350 people. Large crowds and limited parking are expected in the area so personnel are advised to arrive early. Doors will open at 1830 and CAS will have great snacks and beverages for sale at the show site. For more information please contact CAS at 0031 (0)45-526-2626.International Youth ActivitiesRegistration and further information at the IYA Ofce in Bldg 95, ext. 4955. Basketball season The IYA Basketball season for international boys and girls between 6 and 15 years is coming up. Children and teenagers of all nationalities are invited to learn and play this sport together in our international community. The season full of fun lled and exciting games and tournaments will run from December to February. Fee for the season: 7 per player. Registration from 2 to 27 November. Text and photos Lt. Col. Raimond Schulz Top Gun over the Mediterranean: Israeli ghters attack NATO AWACS


6 November 2009 NATO Skywatch 9 JFC HQ Alliance Theatre presentsThe theatre is located in Building #406, JFC HQ Brunssum, the Netherlands. Doors open 30 minutes prior to lm start. Admission for adults is and for children (11 and under) is Gamer (R) Friday, 6 November, 1930 Gerard Butler, John Leguizamo G-Force (PG) Saturday, 7 November, 1600 Nicholas Cage, Penelope Cruz The Final Destination (R) Saturday, 7 November, 1900 Bobby Campo, Shantel Van Santen Inglorious Bastards (R) Friday, 13 November, 1930 Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent Aliens In The Attic (PG) Saturday, 14 November, 1600 Ashley Tisdale, Robert Hoffman Julie & Julia (PG-13) Saturday, 14 November, 1900 Meryl Streep, Amy Adams Extract (R) Friday, 20 November, 1930 Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis The ight is done; the E-3A crewmembers on their way to the ACMI debrieng. Aircraft Commander Maj. Andrea Franceschinis explains the First Pilot the area east of Sardinia. Italian F-16 on take-off. Top Gun over the Mediterranean: Israeli ghters attack NATO AWACS


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12 NATO Skywatch 6 November 2009 By CMSgt. Uli Ponssen On Saturday, 12 September the Bodensee Radmarathon, which is a challenging bicycle marathon, took place in southern Germany. Five Component members, CMSgt. Uli Ponssen, SMSgt. Rene Lerche, MSgt. Preben Andersen, Johan van Raemdock (our coach and organizer) and Mike Borchers participated in this bicycle marathon. The circuit around the lake is about 220 km long. Due to the unique location of the Bodensee it took the participants through three different countries: Germany, Austria and Switzerland. For the Component members the marathon started in Meersburg, Germany north of the lake. Near Bregenz they had to cross the border to Austria. After about 40 km the tour went on through Switzerland for approximately 75 km until they reached the historical city of Stein am Rhein. Back in Germany for another 30km in a hilly area they arrived at a car ferry, which took the cyclists back to Meersburg. Upon arrival in Meersburg there was nal challenge waiting for the team. A steep hill was in front for the last 2 km before reaching the nish. For the whole period of the ride the team stayed together and they all nished the marathon successfully. It took the team 7 hours and 40 minutes to get around the lake in perfect weather conditions. A special thanks to Johan who had the brilliant idea for participating in such an event.Component members successful in Bodensee-Radmarathon The Bodensee challenge is taken, (from left to right) SMSgt. Rene Lerche, MSgt. Preben Andersen, CMSgt. Uli Ponssen, Mike Borchers and Johan van Raemdonck. Photo courtesy CMSgt. Uli PonssenText and photo Amn David Pohl Children from the Geilenkirchen Elementary School visited several locations around the base on 23 October in order to celebrate Halloween. Halloween actually takes place in the night from 31 October to 1 November (All Saints Day). Emigrants from Ireland brought this custom to America at the end of the 19th Century. Its earlier name was All Hallows Evening. Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. They go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy or sometimes money, with the question, Trick or treat? The word trick refers to a mostly idle threat to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given. This year more than 160 kids enjoyed the Trick-or-Treating-parade. Many organizations participated and provided the youngsters an enjoyable day, like Squadron 3, which not just handed out candy, but creepily decorated their hallway into a haunted attraction with tombs, cobwebs, mysterious music and a lot of fog. The costumes of the children were more than diversied: Not just Spider-Man, the Masterchief (from the videogame Halo), devils and wasps were seen as well as magicians and witches, even a clown and a princess could be located. Trick Or TreatEuropes best holiday shopping comes to the Tri-Border region on Friday, 20 (1000-1800), Saturday, 21 (1000-1800) and Sunday, 22 (1000-1600) November. 28+ Vendors from wine, cheese, pottery, rugs, artwork, jewellery, furniture, tapestries, bar accessories, and other great gifts will be at NATO Air Base, Geilenkirchen, Hangar 4. All NATO ID card holders are welcome and Euros will be accepted! For more information please call Rhonda L. Perez at 0049 (0)2451 99 3384.Foggy Fields Bazaar Christmas FairOn Saturday, 14 November from 1100-1500 at the AFNORTH International School an extensive range of vendors will be around at the Christmas Fair. Besides a grand draw, there will be games, arts and crafts, face painting and much more will be organized. Of course Santa will be around as well. Admission is per adult; children are free. Military ID or passport is required. Photo PAO archive


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14 NATO Skywatch 6 November 2009 The helicopter that touched ground on the ramp in front of Hangar 4 at the end of October was a Eurocopter Fennec of the Royal Danish Air Force. The AS550 is a lightweight, multipurpose military helicopter manufactured by the Eurocopter Group. Based on the AS350 Ecureuil and AS355 Ecureuil 2 series, they are named after the Fennec Fox. The powerful Turbomeca Arriel 2B turboshaft engine (632 kW) can perform a maximum speed of 259 km/h/150 knots and passenger capacity is up to 4 persons. The special-varnished copy, which landed here with three other Fennecs, shows that the 12 eurocopters of the Royal Danish Air Force have summed up 50,000 flight hours within 18 years. Also the two small signs, one with reindeer and the second with a camel, above the cockpit show that the helicopters from the squadron were launched in action from the north in Norway to the south in Iraq. The eurocopter is also being used by the French and Ecuadorian Air Force and also the Malaysian and Argentine Navy. Due to a thorough cleaning and high-quality sealing of the hallways the New Gym is closed on Saturday, 21 and Sunday, 22 November.Closure of New GymBy Tony Dale The E-3A Component International Ski Club, also known as NATO Ski Club GK, is not only offering its members discounts at Snow World in Landgraaf, NL but also has some very good deals on ski and snowboard trips to the Ski Amad in Austria with more than 860 kilometres of ski pistes and 270 lifts. Six days, Sunday to Saturday, including accommodation, breakfast and dinner, 5 days lift pass, ski or snowboard instruction for 5 days (4 hrs/day) at all levels plus evening entertainment will only cost you from 76,50 for an adult in a double room, 47,50 for a youth (16-18 years), 79 for a child (12-15 years) and 46 for a child (6-11 years). For more information visit our website or mail to The E-3A International Ski Club is open to all personnel afliated with NATO and/or military organizations in the tri-border area, including those at JFC HQ Brunssum and USAG Schinnen.E-3A Component International Ski Club Ed Seaman, a long time member of the NATO Ski Club, ready to go down no. 8 in San Cassiano, Italy. Photo courtesy NATO Ski Club GK E-3A Component sports eventsFor more info please call Bert Hendriks at ext. 4921 or by email