The US Air Force (USAF) has deployed more than 130 operations, maintenance and support Airmen and five F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft to participate in Exercise Trident Juncture 2015.
The USAF F-16s deployed to Beja Air Base in Portugal for the exercise are from the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.
Trident Juncture is an annual Nato Response Force certification exercise designed to demonstrate Nato’s resolve, capability and capacity to meet present and future security challenges.
Exercise maintenance operations centre officer-in-charge Second Lieutenant Cody Nelson said: "Our reason for being here can’t be understated, because of the variability of who we’ll have to work with in terms of allied partners.
"This gives us the opportunity to learn faces, learn names and talk cross organisation about how to improve and work better together and how to get things done efficiently, quickly and safely."
The exercise is aimed to ensure that Nato and allied partners have the capability and resolve to work together seamlessly to address emerging crises.
Being conducted in Italy, Portugal and Spain, the exercise involves around 36,000 international troops, including 230 military units, 140 aircraft, and more than 60 ships.
480th Fighter Squadron Detachment commander major Brad Sullivan said: "It is fairly common to train bilaterally with one other country, but the ability we have here at Trident Juncture 2015 with the numerous Nato and partnering countries is unprecedented.
"It is important to know how the different nations operate in the air and on the ground and events like this allow us to get to know the pilots who will be called to fly alongside of us in potential conflicts."
The eight participating nations include Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Canada, Germany, Portugal, the UK and the US.
Image: Staff Sergeant Christopher Lancaster works on the engine of an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraftbefore it participates in Trident Juncture 2015. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo illustration / Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman.