480th EFS conducts Flying Training Deployment in Portugal
By Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder, 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 19, 2019
MONTE REAL AIR BASE, Portugal --
More than 300 Airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing and nearly 20 F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron are conducting a Flying Training Deployment with the Portuguese air force February 4-22, 2019.
The FTD has U.S. Air Force pilots and Portuguese pilots training together to better integrate and share tactics, techniques, and procedures with each other to better improve interoperability.
“We came out here to primarily demonstrate two objectives,” said Lt. Col. Michael Richard, 480th EFS commander. “First is our readiness, to be able to pick up a large number of aircraft and personnel and bring them to a foreign country and operate rather expeditiously, and to also demonstrate our interoperability.”
During this FTD, the 480th EFS will train on defensive counter air measures, offensive counter air operations, suppression of enemy air defenses and escorting. This FTD supports the 480th EFS readiness requirements and provides an avenue to integrated capabilities against a variety of threats and to enhance interoperability with NATO allies and partner nations.
Local training ranges allowed for valuable time sharpening ground attack skills. Flying alongside their Portuguese counterparts, the 480th EFS practiced bombing, strafing and escorting to and from a combat area.
“The world is not getting any safer, so it’s important to practice with our closest allies and be ready to defend our interests,” said Maj. Duarte Freitas, 301st Fighter Squadron commander. “I think this is the correct way of doing it, to bring people together to get better and share knowledge.”
The FTD will continue through February 22 and continue to improve the interoperability between the two nations, while further increasing relations as NATO allies.