Bulgarian and U.S. Air Forces: Joint Air Policing Mission Ends Today

Written by on September 16, 2016 in Bulgaria, Miscellaneous - No comments

Since September 9th, four F-15C Eagle jet fighters belonging to the California and Massachusetts Air National Guards have been protecting Bulgaria’s airspace along with the Bulgarian Air Force. The first joint air policing mission of this kind, which brought together soldiers of both countries, is expected to end today.

The modern F-15 fighters from the U.S. were flying alongside Soviet era MiG-29s owned by the host country. Representatives of the U.S. Armed Forces called the mission historic. The parliament of NATO member Bulgaria had approved the mission, aimed at “boosting NATO’s eastern flank along the Black Sea”, in February of 2016.

The four U.S. fighter jets and 75 airmen accompanying them, belong to the 194th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, which is officially stationed in Campa Turii, Romania, for six months. For the operation over Bulgarian skies, they were dispatched to Graf Ignatievo Air Base in Bulgaria. Their main order is to support the Operation Atlantic Resolve, which is a “U.S. commitment to the collective security of NATO in response to Russia’s increased military and political assertiveness in eastern Europe”.

One of the commanders in charge, Lt. Col. Cesar Gonzalez, was quoted saying “We are committed to the security of Europe and helping Bulgaria and countries who ask for our help.”

While helping protect the airspace, the U.S. Airforce has been fighting an enemy on the ground recently: decay, at a Bulgarian kindergarden.

By im.

Watch video:

Source: www.stripes.com
Photo by Joe W. McFadden, U.S. Air Force
Video by Defense Video Imagery Distribution System (U.S. Armed Forces)

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