A 510th Fighter Squadron pilot prepares to take-off at Graf Ignatievo Air Base

The US and Bulgarian Air Forces have successfully completed Thracian Star 2012, an exercise intended to enhance the relationship and interoperability between Nato allies, at Graf Ignatievo Air Force Base, Bulgaria.

The bilateral training exercise involved 500 US airmen and 12 F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, as well as Bulgarian MiG-21s, MiG-29 Fulcrum jet fighters, SU-25 aircraft and units of anti-aircraft troops.

During the exercise, pilots from both nations conducted air combat missions with fighter aircraft, tactical interceptions, close air support, and combat manoeuvres.

The allied nation’s pilots also conducted ride-along flights in their counterpart’s jets to gain insight into the differing aircraft capabilities and pilot tactics.

Commander lieutenant colonel Michael Thompson, of 510th Fighter Squadron, said: "As a NATO partner, we could be called upon to fight in a conflict together and knowing how each other trains and fights gives a little bit of insight into how would we integrate, and how would we be interoperable as a combined force."

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData

The US forces worked closely with their counterparts to increase interoperability between pilots, maintainers, joint terminal air controllers, firefighters and security forces through phone systems, radios and mobile devices.

Thracian Star 2012 was held from 17 April to 11 May 2012.

Image: A 510th Fighter Squadron pilot prepares to take-off at Graf Ignatievo Air Base, Bulgaria, as a part of Thracian Star 2012. Photo: courtesy of the US Air Force.