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USAFE, Romanian airmen kick off Dacian Warhawk

An F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot takes-off March 16, 2015, during the first sortie of Dacian Warhawk at Campia Turzii, Romania. The training missions are designed to incorporate both air and ground operations between the two nations, and include several partnership building events. The pilot is assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Armando A. Schwier-Morales)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot takes-off March 16, 2015, during the first sortie of Dacian Warhawk at Campia Turzii, Romania. The training missions are designed to incorporate both air and ground operations between the two nations, and include several partnership building events. The pilot is assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Armando A. Schwier-Morales)

F-16CJ Fighting Falcons are lined up on the flightline for the first sortie of Dacian Warhawk, March 16, 2015, at Campia Turzii, Romania. Dacian Warhawk is a two-week long training mission designed to increase the interoperability between the U.S. and Romania. The training mission incorporated both ground and Air operations. The F-16s are assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Kris Levasseur)

F-16CJ Fighting Falcons are lined up on the flightline for the first sortie of Dacian Warhawk, March 16, 2015, at Campia Turzii, Romania. Dacian Warhawk is a two-week long training mission designed to increase the interoperability between the U.S. and Romania. The training mission incorporated both ground and Air operations. The F-16s are assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Kris Levasseur)

U.S. and Romanian airmen stand at attention for a flag ceremony March 16, 2015, at Campia Turzii, Romania. The Romanian air force hosted an opening ceremony to kick off exercise Dacian Warhawk. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Armando A. Schwier-Morales)

U.S. and Romanian airmen stand at attention for a flag ceremony March 16, 2015, at Campia Turzii, Romania. The Romanian air force hosted an opening ceremony to kick off exercise Dacian Warhawk. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Armando A. Schwier-Morales)

CAMPIA TURZII, Romania (AFNS) -- More than 100 personnel and six F-16 Fighting Falcons landed at Campia Turzii, Romania, to kick off a bilateral Romanian and Air Force training event March 10-27.

Exercise Dacian Warhawk featured U.S. and Romanian airmen working side by side to establish a base and conduct both ground and air operations with NATO partners.

"It's been a great experience to work alongside the 52nd Fighter Wing to strengthen our alliance with the Romanian air force," said Col. Steven Edwards, the commander of the 435th Contingency Response Group. "I'm extremely proud of all the 435th AGOW Airmen helping to make this exercise a success -- from the 2nd Air Support Operations Squadron joint terminal attack controllers supporting operations on Cincu Range, to the 435th Construction and Training Squadron installing aircraft arresting systems here, to the 1st Combat Communications Squadron supporting all players with a robust communications capability. Not to mention the air advisors from Detachment 1 working a multitude of events designed to build partnerships with our Romanian counterparts -- everyone is stepping-up."

The 435th Air Ground Operations Wing hosted a series of events designed to build partnerships by sharing knowledge, skills and best practices. Airmen from airfield operations, air traffic control, medical and logistics developed training plans to effectively share knowledge between the two nations.

"I believe the next two weeks will be a great opportunity, not only to increase our efficiency, but mostly to tighten up the bonds between the U.S. and Romanian air force," said Romanian air force Col. Marious Oatu, the commander of the 71st Air Base. "So fly safe and good luck."

As Airmen passed along knowledge and best practices on the ground, U.S. F-16CJ Fighting Falcon pilots and Romanian MiG-26 pilots took to the skies to hone their skills.

"It's an honor to be here and train side by side with the Romanians," said Lt. Col. David Berkland, the commander of the 480th Fighter Squadron. "We hope by being here we can increase the cooperation between our countries and NATO partners and be able to provide increased security in the Eastern Europe region."

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