[Editor’s Note: As we have seen in the Global War On Terror, it isn’t a function of the U.S. taking on the enemies of freedom all by itself. Not only is it a joint fight, where we are incorporating assets from all of our brother and sister services, but it is very much a combined fight featuring assets from partner nations. Souda Bay is a beautiful example of this interoperability training, where combined partners get together to compare notes, train, and sharpen the edge.]
More than 15 U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighter Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, are currently on a forward training deployment at Souda Bay, Greece, for bilateral training with the Hellenic Air Force, Jan. 22-Feb. 15, 2016.
During this pre-planned training engagement, a total of approximately 300 personnel from the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, will participate in training focused on maintaining joint readiness while building interoperability capabilities with NATO partners.
This current flying training deployment represents the fourth of its kind between U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa and the Hellenic air force in two years.
“Successful partnering activities like this lead to tangible benefits during peacetime contingencies and crises,” said U.S. Air Force Gen. Frank Gorenc, USAFE-AFAFRICA commander, on the 494th Fighter Squadron FTD to Souda Bay in February 2014. “Continuing our partnership with the Hellenic air force allows both nations to enhance interoperability and readiness…Any opportunity our forces have to fly in new airspace with one of our NATO partners is beneficial, in and of itself. As you know, no nation can confront today’s challenges alone.”
For the original article from U.S. Air Forces Europe and Africa, click here.
(Featured photo: A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft pilot assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron heads to his aircraft on the flightline during a flying training deployment at Souda Bay, Greece, Jan. 27, 2016. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano/Released)