Exercise Load Diffuser 17 begins

Release Number: 020517

KECSKEMET, Hungary -- A 178th Fighter Wing F-16 Fighting Falcon and a Hungarian Air Force JAS- 39 Gripen during the Load Diffuser Exercise 2010 in Kecskemet, Hungary April 29. The exercise aims to sharpen the combat capabilities of the participating forces by conducting a 10 to 15 day flying program.

Load Diffuser is a Hungarian Air Force-led, multinational flying exercise between NATO allies and partner nations. Multinational training engagements such as these strengthen our relationships, help us maintain joint readiness and interoperability, and reassure our European allies and partners.

The U.S. Air Force, along with air forces from Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, and the Czech Republic, will participate in the Hungarian Air Force-hosted exercise Load Diffuser 17 in Kecskemet, Hungary, beginning May 22.

Approximately 200 U.S. Air Force Airmen, eight F-16C Fighting Falcons from the 180th Fighter Wing, Toledo Air National Guard Base, Ohio, and two C-130H Hercules from the 179th Airlift Wing, Mansfield Lahm ANG Base, Ohio, will participate in exercise.

The Ohio Air National Guard and Hungary have been state partners for more than two decades through the State Partnership Program. Exercises that allow the Air National Guard to conduct military-to-military engagements with their state partners are essential to strengthening relationships with allied and partner nations, helping to maintain joint readiness and interoperability, and reassure European allies and partners.

The exercise is scheduled to end on or about to June 9, with all U.S. forces returning to their home bases at the conclusion of the exercise.

For more information, contact USAFE-AFAFRICA Public Affairs at