U.S. and Romania strengthen their bond

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Malcom Mayfield
  • 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

C-130s, along with U.S. Air Force Reserve aircrew and personnel assigned to the 357th Airlift Squadron, 908th Airlift Wing, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., have begun training in the annual exercise Carpathian Summer 19, at Otopeni Air Base, Romania.

Carpathian Summer provides a platform for U.S. Air Force and Romanian air force aircrews to further develop the already strong partnership within the sovereign skies of Europe, as well as create an opportunity for those on the ground to form life-long bonds.

“This is giving our younger Airmen a chance to get out and stretch their legs a bit,” said Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Keen, 908th Maintenance Group production superintendent, 908th AW. “They have all the training they got back home under their belt, and are now putting it into practice. It’s gratifying to see, and it strengthens our unit in a way we can’t get back home.”

This year, some of the training will consist of low-level tactical mountain flying, airdrops, assault landings, inter-flying and aeromedical evacuation flights. Maintainers and logistics personnel will also be working closely with their Romanian counterparts to share techniques, tactics and procedures.

“These guys have been outstanding hosts,” Keen said. “They’re a really good group of people to work with and are extremely knowledgeable about their aircraft and systems. After serving with some of the Romanian air force in Afghanistan, they show the same skill and integrity wherever they go.”

This is the 908th AW’s third year participating in Carpathian Summer. The goal of the exercise has been to enhance U.S. interoperability and readiness with Romania through combined air operations.

“After three years, the comradery between us has only grown stronger,” said Master Sgt. Kendall Williams, 908th MXG crew chief, 908th AW. “Their maintenance team has some of the best maintainers I’ve ever seen. Down the line, if we have the chance to work with them, these exercises will definitely make things easier and smoother.”

Carpathian Summer 19 will take place over the span of two-weeks, helping to maintain joint readiness, build interoperability and strengthen U.S. relations with Romania.