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C-130 aircraft arrive in Bulgaria for Thracian Summer

Release Number: 010820

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U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Austin Mehler, 37th Airlift Squadron loadmaster speaks to the aerial porter prior to loading a pallet onto a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Aug. 10, 2020. The pallet holds luggage for Airmen supporting Thracian Summer 2020, in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Devin Nothstine)

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U.S. Airmen arrive at Plovdiv Airport, Bulgaria to begin training with Bulgarian forces as part of Thracian Summer 2020, Aug. 10, 2020. Thracian Summer 2020 is a flying training deployment to enhance airdrop operations, aerial port operations and multi-ship flying formations between the two partner nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Devin Nothstine)

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U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Caitlin O'Donnell, 37th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, guides a Bulgarian aerial porter to unload a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft upon arrival at Plovidv Airport, Bulgaria for Thracian Summer 2020, Aug. 10, 2020. Thracian Summer 2020 is an opportunity to train with the Bulgarian forces to enhance interoperability, maintain joint readiness and assure our regional allies and partners. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Devin Nothstine)

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U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Caitlin O'Donnell, 37th Airlift Squadron loadmaster, guides an aerial porter as he loads a pallet onto a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Aug. 10, 2020. A loadmaster is responsible for mathematically pre-planning the correct placement of the load on the aircraft, providing passenger safety and securing cargo as well as taking part in airdrop operations that will occur during Thracian Summer 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Devin Nothestine)

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U.S. Airmen wait to board a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Aug 10, 2020. The Airmen are supporting for Thracian Summer 2020 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Thracian Summer 2020 is a bilateral training exercise to allow the U.S. and Bulgarian forces extend their joint warfighting capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Devin Nothstine)

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U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Brenden Fowler, 86th Aerospace Medicine Squadron independent duty medical technician, screens Airmen for COVID-19 symptoms before allowing them to travel to Plovdiv, Bulgaria for Thracian Summer 2020, Aug. 10, 2020. The screening consists of checking temperature and answering a series of questions about physical health and recent travel locations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Devin Nothstine)


U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft and Airmen assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron, 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, are participating in bilateral training with the Bulgarian air force during Thracian Summer 2020, a flying training deployment and off-station training event in Plovidv, Bulgaria.

The 57th Rescue Squadron assigned to Aviano Air Base, Italy, and the 435th Contingency Response Squadron assigned to Ramstein Air Base, Germany, will also send Airmen who will support airdrop operations and aerial port operations at landing and drop zones.

During the rotation, U.S. and Bulgarian air forces will conduct training focused on combined air operations while enhancing interoperability.

“Recurring bilateral training events like Thracian Summer are critical to strengthening our relationships with allies and partners," said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa commander. "The combined training that we’re able to get after increases our collective readiness, and ultimately, presents a united front against any adversary.”

These bilateral training exercises and deployments are designed to enhance partner interoperability, maintain joint readiness, and assure U.S. regional allies.

Together, our nations will continue to strengthen our deterrence efforts and adapt through improving readiness and responsiveness and continue to improve effectiveness and interoperability.