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Dacian Viper 2014: US, Romanian air forces partner for 2-week exercise
Senior Airman Teric Melhaff, 31st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, directs an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot during Exercise Dacian Viper 2014, at Campia Turzii, Romania, April 10, 2014. The exercise aims to strengthen the cooperative efforts of the U.S. and Romanian air forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. R.J. Biermann)
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 Romania, US partner to strengthen NATO
Dacian Viper 2014: US, Romanian air forces partner for 2-week exercise

Posted 4/11/2014   Updated 4/11/2014 Email story   Print story

    


by Staff Sgt. R.J. Biermann
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs


4/11/2014 - CAMPIA TURZII, Romania  -- U.S. and Romanian Airmen met during the Dacian Viper 2014 opening ceremony at the 71st Air Base in Campia Turzii, Romania, April 10, 2014.

Romanian air force Cmdr. Petrus Marian, 71st AB commander; Cmdr. Adrian Motorga, 711th Squadron commander; and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Christopher Austin, 510th Fighter Squadron commander, greeted the crowd as a dozen Romanian reporters captured the ceremony's events.

From April 10-17, 71st AB and 31st Fighter Wing Airmen will conduct bilateral training to enhance interoperability and readiness through combined air operations, including air-to-air, air-to-ground and joint tactical air controller training.

"This exercise has been planned for over a year now," said Austin. "We're here to conduct range operations and joint exercise sorties with our NATO partners to enhance interoperability."

Six 31st FW F-16 Fighting Falcons and several MiG-21 Lancers will be flown by their respective country's pilots throughout the training. Team Aviano maintainers, crew chiefs, firefighters, aerospace ground equipment technicians, air traffic controllers, and supply, logistics and support personnel will also participate.

Dacian Viper 2014 will also aid the Romanian air force in gaining knowledge about the F-16 flying program. In 2013, Romania signed a contract to acquire 12 F-16s from Portugal to replace their MiG-21s.

The exercise is the latest example of the high level of military cooperation between the NATO partners and reflects the strength of the partnership, according to officials.



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