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480th EFS conducts Flying Training Deployment in Portugal

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A Portuguese air force F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off for a training mission with the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron at Monte Real Air Base, Portugal, Feb. 14, 2019. Airmen of the 480th EFS work closely with their Portuguese counterparts to plan and execute training missions together throughout the Flying Training Deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

USAF

Airmen of the 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron petroleum, oil and lubricants flight, hot pit refuel four F-16 Fighting Falcons at a time during a Flying Training Deployment at Monte Real Air Base, Portugal, Feb. 13, 2019. A “hot pit” is the refueling of an aircraft while its engine is still running. During the refueling process, the aircraft is checked for safety items such as leaks and debris before returning to the air. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

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Staff Sgt. Jacob Heppler, left, 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels distributions supervisor, works with Cpl. Sergio Pinto, right, Portuguese air force, while hot pit refueling an F-16 Fighting Falcon during a Flying Training Deployment at Monte Real Air Base, Portugal, Feb. 13, 2019. A “hot pit” is the refueling of an aircraft while its engine is still running. During the refueling process, the aircraft is checked for safety items such as leaks and debris before returning to the air. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

USAF

Staff Sgt. Jacob Heppler, front, 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels distributions supervisor, works with Cpl. Sergio Pinto, back, Portuguese air force, while hot pit refueling an F-16 Fighting Falcon during a Flying Training Deployment at Monte Real Air Base, Portugal, Feb. 13, 2019. A “hot pit” is the refueling of an aircraft while its engine is still running. During the refueling process, the aircraft is checked for safety items such as leaks and debris before returning to the air. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

USAF

Senior Airman Shakielia Dennis-Lightner, 52nd Logistics Readiness Squadron fuels distribution operator, prepares the fuel trucks to “hot pit” fuel F-16 Fighting Falcons during a Flying Training Deployment at Monte Real Air Base, Portugal, Feb. 13, 2019. Hot Pit refueling means an aircraft is refueled on the ground while the jet engine is still running, allowing the aircraft to quickly return to the skies for another mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

USAF

An F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron taxis down the flight line during a Flying Training Deployment at Monte Real Air Base, Portugal, Feb. 13, 2019. FTDs serve to enhance readiness and improve interoperability between the U.S. and NATO allies across Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

USAF

Staff Sgt. Daniel Richardson, 480th Aircraft Maintenance Unit support technician, prepares food in a makeshift kitchen during a Flying Training Deployment at Monte Real Air Base, Portugal, Feb. 13, 2019. FTDs challenge maintenance personnel to quickly adapt to local facilities that may differ from what familiar at the unit’s home station. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

USAF

An F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron taxis down the flight line during a Flying Training Deployment at Monte Real Air Base, Portugal, Feb. 13, 2019. FTDs serve to enhance readiness and improve interoperability between the U.S. and NATO allies across Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

USAF

An F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot waits to be marshaled on the flight line during a Flying Training Deployment at Monte Real Air Base, Portugal, Feb. 13, 2019. FTDs challenge both pilots and ground crews to quickly adapt to unfamiliar surroundings. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

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Airman 1st Class Estevian Alcala, 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant dedicated crew chief, talks with the pilot in a F-16 Fighting Falcon prior to taxiing during a Flying Training Deployment at Monte Real Air Base, Portugal, Feb. 13, 2019. Pilots and maintenance personnel work closely to diagnose and repair problems with aircraft in order to keep up with a high training tempo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

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Airman 1st Class John Norris, right, 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant dedicated crew chief, talks with a pilot assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron during a Flying Training Deployment at Monte Real Air Base, Portugal, Feb. 11, 2019. Pilots and maintenance personnel work closely to diagnose and repair problems with aircraft in order to keep up with a high training tempo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

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Airman 1st Class John Norris, 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant dedicated crew chief, marshalls an F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron at Monte Real Air Base, Portugal, Feb. 11, 2019. Flying Training Deployments challenge maintenance personnel to quickly adapt to local facilities that may differ from what familiar at the unit’s home station. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

FTDs which serves to enhance readiness and improve interoperability between the U.S. and NATO allies across Europe by giving Airmen a chance to integrate with their counterparts.
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An F-16 Fighting Falcon assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron takes off during a Flying Training Deployment at Monte Real Air Base, Portugal, Feb. 14, 2019. FTDs which serves to enhance readiness and improve interoperability between the U.S. and NATO allies across Europe by giving Airmen a chance to integrate with their counterparts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

FTDs which serves to enhance readiness and improve interoperability between the U.S. and NATO allies across Europe by giving Airmen a chance to integrate with their counterparts.
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Airman 1st Class Chris Juan Wright, 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron assistant dedicated crew chief, prepares an F-16 Fighting Falcon for a mission during a Flying Training Deployment at Monte Real Air Base, Portugal, Feb. 13, 2019. FTDs serve to enhance readiness and improve interoperability between the U.S. and NATO allies across Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

FTDs which serves to enhance readiness and improve interoperability between the U.S. and NATO allies across Europe by giving Airmen a chance to integrate with their counterparts.
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A Pilot assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron taxis an F-16 Fighting Falcon during a Flying Training Deployment at Monte Real Air Base, Portugal, Feb. 11, 2019. FTDs challenge both pilots and ground crews to quickly adapt to unfamiliar surroundings. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

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.