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The Bloody Hundredth support Exercise Trident Juncture 18

U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircrew conduct preflight brief before takeoff during Exercise Trident Juncture 18, from Rovaniemi, Finland, Oct. 29, 2018. Exercise Trident Juncture is the largest NATO exercise since 2002, including 31 countries and more than 50,000 military members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Milano)

U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker aircrew conduct preflight brief before takeoff during Exercise Trident Juncture 18, from Rovaniemi, Finland, Oct. 29, 2018. Exercise Trident Juncture is the largest NATO exercise since 2002, including 31 countries and more than 50,000 military members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Milano)

A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker parked on the flightline during Exercise Trident Juncture 18, at Rovaniemi, Finland, Oct. 29, 2018. The exercise takes place in Norway and the surrounding areas of the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea, including Iceland and the airspace of Finland and Sweden. With more than 50,000 participants, this is the largest NATO exercise since 2002. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Milano)

A U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker parked on the flightline during Exercise Trident Juncture 18, at Rovaniemi, Finland, Oct. 29, 2018. The exercise takes place in Norway and the surrounding areas of the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea, including Iceland and the airspace of Finland and Sweden. With more than 50,000 participants, this is the largest NATO exercise since 2002. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Milano)

Airport personnel de-ice a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker prior to takeoff during Exercise Trident Juncture 18, at Rovaniemi, Finland, Oct. 30, 2018. The exercise is the largest NATO exercise since 2002, and includes more than 50,000 military members from 31 countries. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Milano)

Airport personnel de-ice a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker prior to takeoff during Exercise Trident Juncture 18, at Rovaniemi, Finland, Oct. 30, 2018. The exercise is the largest NATO exercise since 2002, and includes more than 50,000 military members from 31 countries. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Milano)

A Belgian F-16 Fighting Falcon receives fuel from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker during Exercise Trident Juncture 18, in Swedish airspace, Oct. 30, 2018. The exercise is the largest NATO exercise since 2002, and includes more than 50,000 military members from 31 countries. The exercise provides U.S. forces with unique opportunities to train with NATO allies and partners. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Milano)(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Milano)

A Belgian F-16 Fighting Falcon receives fuel from a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker during Exercise Trident Juncture 18, in Swedish airspace, Oct. 30, 2018. The exercise is the largest NATO exercise since 2002, and includes more than 50,000 military members from 31 countries. The exercise provides U.S. forces with unique opportunities to train with NATO allies and partners. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Milano)(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Milano)

Crew chiefs from the 100th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, RAF Mildenhall, England, conduct night maintenance during Exercise Trident Juncture 18, at Rovaniemi, Finland, Oct. 29, 2018. The exercise takes place in Norway and the surrounding areas of the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea, including Iceland and the airspace of Finland and Sweden. With more than 50,000 participants, this is the largest NATO exercise since 2002. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Milano)

Crew chiefs from the 100th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, RAF Mildenhall, England, conduct night maintenance during Exercise Trident Juncture 18, at Rovaniemi, Finland, Oct. 29, 2018. The exercise takes place in Norway and the surrounding areas of the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea, including Iceland and the airspace of Finland and Sweden. With more than 50,000 participants, this is the largest NATO exercise since 2002. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Milano)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Charles Alexander, 269th Combat Communications Squadron radio frequency transmissions systems technician, left, and Airman 1st Class Donte Patrick, 1st CBCS radio frequency transmissions systems technician, inspect a satellite antenna for corrosion during Exercise Trident Juncture 18 at Rovaniemi, Finland, Nov. 1, 2018. The exercise increases security by deterring possible threats and enhancing interoperability among NATO allies and partners. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Milano)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Charles Alexander, 269th Combat Communications Squadron radio frequency transmissions systems technician, left, and Airman 1st Class Donte Patrick, 1st CBCS radio frequency transmissions systems technician, inspect a satellite antenna for corrosion during Exercise Trident Juncture 18 at Rovaniemi, Finland, Nov. 1, 2018. The exercise increases security by deterring possible threats and enhancing interoperability among NATO allies and partners. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Milano)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Nicholas Vidmar, 100th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, salutes after marshalling a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker before takeoff to conduct aerial refueling training during Exercise Trident Juncture 18, at Rovaniemi, Finland, Oct. 27, 2018. Trident Juncture is the largest NATO exercise since 2002, with more than 50,000 military members from 31 nations. The U.S. military makes up approximately a quarter of the participating personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Milano)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Nicholas Vidmar, 100th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, salutes after marshalling a U.S. Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker before takeoff to conduct aerial refueling training during Exercise Trident Juncture 18, at Rovaniemi, Finland, Oct. 27, 2018. Trident Juncture is the largest NATO exercise since 2002, with more than 50,000 military members from 31 nations. The U.S. military makes up approximately a quarter of the participating personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Luke Milano)

ROVANIEMI, Finland -- Airmen and KC-135 Stratotankers from the 100th Air Refueling Wing, RAF Mildenhall, England, deployed to Rovaniemi, Finland, in support of NATO-led exercise Trident Juncture 18, Oct. 25 - Nov. 7, 2018.

Trident Juncture was the largest NATO exercise since 2002, and included 31 countries and more than 50,000 military members.

“Trident Juncture is important because we are working with countries we haven't worked with before, testing our interoperability and our ability to function in cold weather environments and receivers we may not be familiar with,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Alblinger, 351st Air Refueling Squadron detachment commander of KC-135 operations in Rovaniemi, Finland. “For us, the goal is to learn our limitations, from a technical and flying aspect, and the objective was to make sure we had smooth and seamless operations.”

The exercise provided the Bloody Hundredth with unique opportunities to train with NATO allies and partners.

“One of the positive measures of being part of this exercise is getting to learn how the other nations operate and for us to come together for planning big operations and the executing,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Jonathan Benson, 351st ARW director of operations for at Rovaniemi, Finland.

The exercise took place in Norway and the surrounding areas of the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea, including Iceland and the airspace of Finland and Sweden.

“Our crews have gone through special training to be able to operate in this cold weather environment,” Benson said. “We’ve had quite a few challenges working in this environment, but one of the things we’ve done is come prepared with 24-hour operation support, especially for our maintainers who have come in the middle of the night to keep our aircraft in good working order.”

Airmen from the Bloody Hundredth worked alongside U.S. Air Force Reserve aircrew from the 459th Air Refueling Wing, Joint-Base Andrews, Maryland, to aid in the refueling part of the exercise out of Rovaniemi.

“It’s not every day that we get to operate with a reserve aircrew and operations, so coming here gave us that opportunity with the 459th ARW to see how they operate,” Benson said.

Throughout the exercise, both units refueled 33 receivers from eight different nations with a total 167,000 pounds of fuel transferred.

“The maintainers here have been the star performers of this whole exercise,” Alblinger said. “They are out here all night long in subzero temperatures getting the jets together, so I’m proud of them and their nonstop attitude to get the job done.”

With exercises like this, the U.S., along with NATO allies and partners, stand together to ensure a Europe whole, free, prosperous and at peace.