WORLD AIR WAR HISTORY


 
  Bulgaria   Bulgarian Air Force (BuAF)
Republic of Bulgaria (Republika Balgariya)

Bulgarian Air Force (BuAF)  •  Bulgarian Army AD Units  •  Naval Aviation & Coastal Defence Units  •  Government Aviation  •  Police Aviation  •  Deployment  •  Foreign Air Forces  • 
AF NEWS  •  AF HISTORY

USAF F-16s, MiGs Engage In Combat Training Over Bulgaria

USAF F-16s, MiGs Engage In Combat Training Over Bulgaria

U.S. pilots from the 555th and 510th Fighter Squadrons based out of Aviano Air Base, Italy, have been given a rare opportunity to train and share experiences with Bulgarian air force MiG-21 and MiG-29 pilots during their deployment here in support of Thracian Star 2012.

Since the start of the training mission on April 18, Bulgarian and American pilots have been flying together and working toward the goal of the exercise: to strengthen partnerships, increase interoperability between NATO allies and maintain a standard of excellence.

Throughout the month-long bilateral training exercise, Aviano F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots will spend more than 60 hours per week flying close air support, basic fighter and air combat maneuvers, tactical intercepts, defensive counter air and large force missions with Bulgarian MiG-21 and MiG-29 pilots.

"We are performing the same mission sets we do at home station, but we are integrating the Bulgarian pilots into the training," said Capt. Bryan Faughn, 555th FS F-16 pilot. "It gives us an opportunity to see how another country's air force works. They are a professional air force just like we are and they take pride in what they do. We are gaining experience while working with an international partner - it's a unique opportunity."

To gain better insight into both the tactics of the pilots and the capabilities of the different aircraft, pilots have gone on ride-along flights in the other country's jets.

Capt. Kirby Sanford, 555th FS F-16 pilot, was the first American pilot to get the opportunity to ride in a MiG.

"It was truly an awesome, once-in-a-lifetime experience," Sanford said about his flight. "It really highlighted the advantages of both aircraft and showcased the mindset, skills and techniques of the Bulgarians."

"Though the MiG is an older aircraft, it is still a very capable aircraft," he continued. "It just goes to show that even an older aircraft can be a formidable adversary with the right pilot."

Bulgarian air force Capt. PetarMilkov, was the first MiG-29 pilot to fly in an F-16 during Thracian Star 2012. The aircraft was piloted by Col. David Walker, 31st Operations Group and Thracian Star detachment commander.

"I was very impressed by the cockpit ergonomics, ease of flight and mission complexity," said Milkov. "This bilateral training with my American colleagues is a great chance to extend our partnership in a professional, cultural and personal manner. I also hope to enrich my personal experience and make new contacts."

While the language barrier could have made it difficult for Bulgarian and American pilots to find common ground, Sanford says they all have one thing in common that makes it easy to relate to one another: a love of flying.

"We've all wanted to be fighter pilots since we were young," he said. "That's a good basis to start from. We already have something in common that each of us can relate to that has brought forth a mutual respect between us."


Source: GRAF IGNATIEVO AIR BASE, Bulgaria - US Air Force; issued April 25, 2012

Photo: Spangdahlem's pilots diplomats in the skies (Photo by af.mil)

GRAF IGNATIEVO AIR FORCE BASE, Bulgaria - A Bulgarian air force search and rescue helicopter performs an aerial demonstration for Bulgarian and U.S. military leaders during Operation Thracian Star Oct. 14. The operation was a three-week, combined exercise that gave the U.S. and Bulgarian Air Forces the opportunity to share ideas and train together. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin Wilson)

(4/25/2012)


 
EMPTY
EMPTY
Bulgaria AF
Scheme
EMPTY
 

 
  CONTINENTAL NEWS:

American Air Force News
African Air Force News
Asian Air Force News
European Air Force News
Middle Eastern AF News
Ocean Air Force News


• Bulgaria's government approves plan to buy up to 19 fighter jets

(4/4/2016)
Bulgaria's government approved on Wednesday a long-delayed project to buy up to 19 fighter jets, which will help to revamp its air force, improve its compliance with NATO standards...>>

• Bulgarian Defense Minister Delays Jet Fighter Purchase

(6/11/2013)
Bulgarian Defense Minister Angel Naydenov has announced that the much-awaited acquisition of new jet fighters for the Air Force will likely not be launched this year, reported loca...>>

• U.S., Bulgarian Airmen Strengthen Ties During Exercise

(5/30/2012)
More than 500 U.S. Airmen and two dozen F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 31st Fighter Wing here recently returned from a deployment to Graf Ignatievo Air Base, Bulgaria, where they s...>>

• Bulgarian Mig-29 Crashes Without Casualties

(4/26/2012)
The plane caught fire shortly after takeoff from the Graf Ignatievo air force base, the Defense Ministry in Sofia said in a statement 26 April 2011....>>

• USAF F-16s, MiGs Engage In Combat Training Over Bulgaria

(4/25/2012)
U.S. pilots from the 555th and 510th Fighter Squadrons based out of Aviano Air Base, Italy, have been given a rare opportunity to train and share experiences with Bulgarian air for...>>

• Support deal for Bulgarian Air Forces C-27Js

(12/23/2011)
The Bulgarian air force's fleet of C-27J medium-lift aircraft will receive logistic services for the next 10 years from Alenia Aeronautica of Italy....>>

 




       info@xairforces.net Webmaster: REFLX DESIGN - © 2011 xairforces / Aviation Society,