RAMSTEIN, Germany - Bulgarian and American service members participated in the air exercise Thracian Summer 2021, August 17 – September 7. The exercise allowed both Allies to test their interoperability and demonstrate their capability.
Thracian Summer 21 conducted in Bulgaria saw C-27J Spartan aircraft from the Bulgarian Air Force working alongside USAF C-130J Hercules conducted tactical flights at low altitude, transportation of troops and cargo, training and combat parachute jumps day and night from low and high altitudes.
This exercise saw forces operating from prepared to temporary landing sites within Bulgaria. Giving the Allies training in operations in austere environment ensuring force elements can deploy with limited support. Simultaneously Bulgarian surface based air defence forces deployed with the task of providing anti-aircraft missile coverage of strategic sites of the critical infrastructure within the country.
Thracian Summer 21 practiced day and night combat parachute jumps ensuring NATO nations have a credible rapid theatre entry capabilities. Photo courtesy of Bulgarian Air Force.
Bulgarian C-27 air transport practices low-level tactical flights during Ex Thracian Summer. Photo courtesy of Bulgarian Air Force
These bilateral training exercises and deployments of NATO Allies are designed to enhance interoperability among Allies and maintain joint readiness. Thracian Summer 2021 has further improved collective operational tactics, techniques and procedures of participants. It has underscored that Bulgaria is able to logistically support and host a live-fly exercise of this format.