RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany --
Service members from the U.S. military and the allied nations of Belgium, Bulgaria, Poland, Portugal, and Romania came together in Bucharest, Romania for a European Partnership Flight event focused on F-16 maintenance and operations, Sept 19, 2022. United States Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa and the Romanian Air Force co-hosted the week-long event.
The EPF brought together six nations to discuss challenges and best practices regarding fourth generation fighter operations and sustainment. The event included U.S. representatives from the 31st Maintenance Group, 162nd Fighter Wing, Alabama National Guard’s 187th Fighter Wing Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Air Force Security Assistance Training Squadron, and USAFE-AFAFRICA. Alabama is the state partner to Romania through the State Partnership Program.
The multilateral event covered topics focused on the key roles and necessary coordination activities between operations, maintenance, and munition units, to include areas where nations can collaborate regarding F-16 logistics and training.
“The F-16 is here for the long-run and brings new issues and additional challenges; it takes people, equipment, funding and a good balance between them all,” said Col.Vasile Petrea, Romanian air force training manager.
The group also toured Romanian facilities and maintenance operations at Borcea Air Base who received their first F-16s in 2016 from Portugal. The workshop enhanced regional networking, and identified future training and exchange opportunities within the Eastern European F-16 community.
“This is an opportunity to come together and bring more capability to the alliance,” said Col. Derbenwick, Defense Attaché U.S. Embassy Bucharest and former F-16 pilot. “The F-16 platform is all about community.”
EPFs are multilateral security cooperation military-to-military engagements intended to strengthen strategic partnerships and enhance regional cooperation and interoperability. Romania’s EPF constitutes one of many U.S. security cooperation events aimed to assist F-16 allied partners as they develop their F-16 programs and implement comprehensive operating and sustainment practices to achieve full operational capacity. The overall goals of these engagements are for U.S. allies and partners to build their F-16 aviation capacity with other allied partners and to improve their ability to defend themselves, fully participate as operational partners, and improve their interoperability in support of U.S. and NATO national security priorities.