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U.S., Romania conduct joint training, build partnership

A C-130J Super Hercules from the 37th Airlift Squadron performs a touch and go during Carpathian Spring 2014, May 18, 2014, Campia Turzii, Romania. During the two-week-long training, pilots were able to utilize the less restrictive airspace, allowing them to perform low-level and night vision flights. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Damon Kasberg)

A C-130J Super Hercules from the 37th Airlift Squadron performs a touch and go during Carpathian Spring 2014, May 18, 2014, Campia Turzii, Romania. During the two-week-long training, pilots were able to utilize the less restrictive airspace, allowing them to perform low-level and night vision flights. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Damon Kasberg)

Army 1st Sgt. Leldon Lee Want looks out the back ramp of a C-130J Super Hercules to ensure Romanian paratroopers can safely exit the aircraft during Carpathian Spring 2014, May 18, 2014, above Campia Turzii, Romania. Jumpmasters from Ramstein Air Base, Germany and RAF Mildenhall, England took part in the training to help guarantee jumps went smoothly. Want is the Special Operations Command Europe Joint Special Operations Air Component senior enlisted leader. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Damon Kasberg)

Army 1st Sgt. Leldon Lee Want looks out the back ramp of a C-130J Super Hercules to ensure Romanian paratroopers can safely exit the aircraft during Carpathian Spring 2014, May 18, 2014, above Campia Turzii, Romania. Jumpmasters from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and RAF Mildenhall, England, took part in the training to help guarantee jumps went smoothly. Want is the Special Operations Command Europe Joint Special Operations Air Component senior enlisted leader. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Damon Kasberg)

Members of the 37th Airlift Squadron and the Romanian air force coordinate jump procedures May 18, 2014, at Campia Turzii, Romania. The-two-week long training allowed the C-130J Super Hercules aircrew to fly in less restrictive airspace, letting them utilize night vision capabilities and fly in low level formations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Damon Kasberg)

Members of the 37th Airlift Squadron and the Romanian air force coordinate jump procedures May 18, 2014, at Campia Turzii, Romania. The-two-week long training allowed the C-130J Super Hercules aircrew to fly in less restrictive airspace, letting them utilize night vision capabilities and fly in low level formations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Damon Kasberg)

Staff Sgt. Cameron Riley looks out the side door of a C-130J Super Hercules during Carpathian Spring 2014, May 21, 2014, above Campia Turzii, Romania. Riley, along with other jumpmasters, ensured the safety of service members as they exited the aircraft. Riley is a 435th Contingency Response Group jumpmaster. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Damon Kasberg)

Staff Sgt. Cameron Riley looks out the side door of a C-130J Super Hercules during Carpathian Spring 2014, May 21, 2014, above Campia Turzii, Romania. Riley, along with other jumpmasters, ensured the safety of service members as they exited the aircraft. Riley is a 435th Contingency Response Group jumpmaster. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Damon Kasberg)

BUCHAREST, Romania (AFNS) -- More than 80 Airmen and Soldiers stationed in Germany came together to take part in the Carpathian Spring 2014 May 9 - 24, in Bucharest, Romania.

Carpathian Spring is an annual training opportunity which allows C-130J Super Hercules aircrew to fly in less restrictive airspace.

"This training is important because Romanian airspace allows us to be very flexible and helps to keep us proficient," said Capt. Chad Thompson, a 37th Airlift Squadron pilot.

"We're performing daytime-visual mountain-low-level training, where we fly low through the mountains to practice threat avoidance and forcible-entry capabilities," he said. "We're also doing air-drop training with container delivery systems and Romanian paratroopers. At night we're doing (night-vision goggles, or NVG) flying and landings."

The opportunity to fulfill training requirements was essential for all personnel, but more importantly, the two-week-long training allowed service members to interact with their Romanian allies. Members from both militaries shared their perspectives and expertise, improving mission planning and tactics.

"I've learned how U.S. pilots can perform in tactical exercises and how they manage a paratrooper mission," said Romanian air force 1st Lt. Gheorghe Matis, a C-27J pilot in training. "I was very impressed. These kinds of training opportunities prepare us for real missions. This has been my first time working with Americans. I hope there are more chances in the future to take this cooperation to a higher level, because we have a lot to learn from each other."

Pilots from the 37th AS also shared similar sentiments.

"It's important to work with the Romanians because they're one of our NATO Allies," Thompson said. "They're hard working and have been accommodating, letting us bring our C-130s and opening their airspace to allow us to train better together.

"Working closely together during these types of flying training deployments helps increase our thriving relationship with the Romanian." he added.

Along with conducting flying training missions, Romanian paratroopers were also able to fulfill their jump requirements. Above Romanian drop zones, C-130J pilots, loadmasters and U.S. Air Force and Army jumpmasters worked together with Romanian paratroopers to ensure safety during static-line jumps and high-altitude low-opening jumps.

"We've been here providing jumpmaster support," said Staff Sgt. Christopher Zavala Romero, the 435th Contingency Response Group jumpmaster. "We have helped push out 300 Romanian paratroopers in the past two weeks. Part of our job is to make sure jumpers and the aircraft are both safe. This training ensures we're on the same page when we work with our allies."

Once aircrew completed their missions, Airmen from the 86th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron were ready to do their part. The maintainers worked 12-hour shifts to keep the C-130Js flight ready.

"For two weeks our teams have been launching aircraft for day and night missions and fixing them when they return," said Staff Sgt. Jereamy Day, a 86th AMXS guidance and control craftsman. "Delivering aircraft that can perform the mission is why we're here.

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