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Aug 16 2023

Allies conduct joint flight training during exercise Thracian Summer 2023

MONS, Belgium – Thracian Summer 2023, an Allied joint flight training exercise, is currently underway at Bezmer Air Base and Cheshnegirovo Airport in Bulgaria.

The objectives of the training are to enrich Air Force procedures for comprehensive logistics support and host-nation support, to improve interoperability as well as enhance the tactical-special training of air and missile defence units.

“Thracian Summer 2023 enhances the capabilities and interoperability of the Air Force and Joint Special Operations Command personnel while participating in international exercises and operations,” said Flight Training Deputy Commander of 16th Air Base Sofia and Thracian Summer 2023 Exercise Director Lieutenant-Colonel Plamen Donchev.

U.S. Air Force 86th Airlift Wing, 435th Air Ground Operations and Bulgarian Air Forces participate in Thracian Summer 2023 on Cheshnegirovo Air Base in Bulgaria - NATO Photo by U.S. Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Wesley Richardson

Bulgarian Air Force Spartan aircraft and US Air Force C-130 aircraft are executing troop and cargo transportation exercises including parachute cargo loading, and day and night parachute jumps. Additionally, allies are conducting casualty and aeromedical evacuations.

The exercise aims to increase interoperability, offer training opportunities in the European air theatre, and demonstrate NATO’s agility and determination to reinforce the overall deterrence posture in the air domain along the NATO Concept for the Deterrence and Defence of the Euro-Atlantic Area (DDA). Overall, participation in joint exercises contribute to NATO’s awareness and security.

For over 15 years, Bulgaria has hosted joint flight training, contributing to Bulgarian Air and Special Operations Forces' high level of expertise through real interaction in an international environment.

Thracian Summer 2023 concludes on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023.

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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