The Bulgarian Air Force operated side by side with Allied fighter aircraft from Canada, Greece, and Romania who operated from their respective home bases.
Thracian Viper makes a significant contribution to bringing our Alliance closer together, giving Allied crews the necessary skills to ensure stability and security in South Eastern Europe
The Allied aircraft conducted combined and joint training in simulated defensive and offensive scenarios. Bulgarian Army air defence units employed to protect territory and infrastructure against air threats delivered the joint aspect to the training.
Bulgarian MiG-29s, Canadian CF-18s – currently based in Romania under NATO's enhanced Air Policing mission– Hellenic and Romanian F-16s conducted Composite Air Operations executing air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. Scenarios became more complex during the course of the two-week exercise. This allowed participants to share valuable knowledge and improve interoperability.
"Thracian Viper makes a significant contribution to bringing our Alliance closer together, giving Allied crews the necessary skills to ensure stability and security in South Eastern Europe," said Major General Gianluca Ercolani, Chief of Staff Allied Air Command. "Exercises like Thracian Viper are key for increasing the readiness, coherence and flexibility of our forces. The ability to respond to emerging and evolving strategic challenges in a key region, such as the Black Sea, is fundamental to NATO's core mission of collective defence."
Royal Canadian Air Force CF-188 flying with Allies during Thracian Viper. Photo courtesy of Royal Canadian Air Force.
Thracian Viper started in 2010 providing opportunities for participating nations to produce a combined readiness and a consistent capability. All involved participants applied their tactics, techniques and procedures together creating mutual learning effects that further improved integration and cooperation of Allied fighter squadrons.