The US, along with five allied and partner nations participated in a week-long event to discuss the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft’s maintenance and operations.

The five participant nations included Bulgaria, Poland, Belgium, Portugal and Romania.

The multilateral event, known as European Partnership Flight (EPF), was held in Bucharest, Romania, on 19 September.

It was co-hosted by the Romanian Air Force and the US Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA).

Other US representatives included the USAF’s 187th Fighter Wing (FW), assigned under Alabama National Guard, Air Force Life Cycle Management Centre (AFLCMC), 31st Maintenance Group, 162nd FW and Air Force Security Assistance Training Squadron.

In this event, the military service members from all six countries discussed challenges and suitable practices related to the sustainment and operations of fourth-generation fighter aircraft.

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In addition, the officials explored different areas of collaboration for participant nations to support F-16 logistics and training.

This also involved analysis of significant roles and coordination activities between operations, maintenance and munition units.

Romanian Air Force training manager colonel Vasile Petrea said: “The F-16 is here for the long run and brings new issues and additional challenges; it takes people, equipment, funding and a good balance between them all.”

The service members also visited Borcea Air Base (AB) to learn about the F-16 maintenance operations and facilities.

Borcea was the first Romanian AB to receive the F-16 fighter aircraft from Portugal in 2016.

The event also allowed participants to list out future training and exchange opportunities within the Eastern European F-16 community while boosting regional networking.

The latest EPF also allowed the six nations to explore comprehensive operating and sustainment practices for attaining full operational capacity for their F-16 programmes.