C-27J Spartan transport aircraft from the Bulgarian Air Force and C-130J Super Hercules from the United States Air Force conducted the bulk of the exercise. Bulgarian MiG-29 fighter aircraft, AS-532 and Mi-17 helicopters as well as air defence systems supported the transport aircraft to facilitate realistic training.
The combined training that we’re able to get after increases our collective readiness
On the media day on August 19, the participants in Thracian Summer 2020 demonstrated missions using a formation of US C-130Js and Bulgarian C-27J. They performed low-level approach flights, cargo airdrops and paratrooper operations at landing and drop zones.
“Recurring bilateral training events like Thracian Summer 2020 are critical to strengthening our relationships with allies and partners," said General Jeff Harrigian, US Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa commander. "The combined training that we’re able to get after increases our collective readiness, and ultimately, presents a united front against any adversary.”
These bilateral training exercises and deployments of NATO Allies are designed to enhance interoperability among Allies and maintain joint readiness. Thracian Summer 2020 has further improved collective operational tactics, techniques and procedures of participants. It has underscored Bulgaria is able to logistically support and host a live-fly exercise of this format.