RAMSTEIN, Germany - Another week of training is underway for the Romanian and Bulgarian Air Forces with their guests from the U.S. Air Force and their F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft, starting November 1.
The F-15E Strike Eagles have returned to Borcea Air Base, Romania, and Graf Ignatievo Air Base, Bulgaria for the second phase of forward deployment, demonstrating the Alliances ability to respond to any crisis with a flexible response option.
The entire staff of 86th Air Base are participating in this exercise, providing accommodation, food, airfield logistics and everything necessary to make the exercise a success
"The entire staff of 86th Air Base are participating in this exercise, providing accommodation, food, airfield logistics and everything necessary to make the exercise a success," said Colonel Cătălin Micloș, Deputy Commander of 86th Air Base. "We look forward to these opportunities and are ready to host such Allied exercises in the future".
F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft arrive at Graf Ignatievo Air Base, Bulgaria, November 1. The Strike Eagles will spend the next several days training at the Bulgarian Air Force facility. Photo courtesy of US Air Force.
U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules fly personnel and cargo from Greece to Romania during exercise Castle Forge. The airlift supports Castle Forge's objective of demonstrating the joint force's ability to respond to a crisis with speed and flexibility. Photo courtesy of US Air Force
Over the course of the week the Allied fighters will take part in air to air and air to ground based missions sharing tactics, techniques and procedures with their colleagues. The US led exercise Castle Forge is a long planned deployment to the region, which highlights the strong trans-Atlantic links that the Alliance enjoys.
This exercise is another step forward in the development of our successful cooperation, which has led to real results, increasing the level of interoperability
"This exercise is another step forward in the development of our successful cooperation, which has led to real results, increasing the level of interoperability, improving the flight training of Bulgarian crews, as well as the development of operational procedures, techniques and tactics in line with NATO standards," said Brigadier General Nikolay Rusev, Commander of Graf Ignatievo Air Base.
A flight of F-15Es also provided air support to Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter during its transit for a routine patrol in the Black Sea. Additional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft also supported the mission and a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. The integration of Allied air and maritime units ensures security and stability in a region with vital international transit routes.