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American and Romanian servicemen start joint air exercise at Campia Turzii

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The Romanian pilots will fly American F-16 fighter planes and the American ones will fly MiG 21 LanceR aircraft of the Romanian Air Force as part of the Dacian Viper 2014 exercise, which began at Air Base 71 at Campia Turzii (central Romania).

Over 250 servicemen of the Air Force of the United States of American flying F-16 aircraft, together with about 200 Romanian servicemen, pilots and technical staff, flying MiG-21 LanceR aircraft from Air Base 71, over April 10-17, participate in the Romanian-American bilateral exercise Dacian Viper 2014, which will be held on the military aerodrome at Campia Turzii.

The commander of Air Base 71 at Campia Turzii, Commodore Marian Petrus, told the exercise opening ceremony on Thursday that they would carry out missions in the Army's ranges, but also air police missions.

'Starting on Thursday, we are doing, together with the American partner, the cooperation exercise Dacian Viper 2014 referring to the joint missions with plane F-16. We are carrying out both missions in the Army's ranges and specific air police missions. The exercise was planned as far back as last year and more than 200 Romanian servicemen, pilots and technical staff and about 250 servicemen of the US Air Force, from Base Aviano in Italy, take part in it. An important aim is that the young pilots we have at the Campia Turzii base should learn the procedures and should fly, together with the American ones, F-16 aircraft whereas the American pilots will train on our MiG 21 LanceR planes. There will be about 8-10 Romanian pilots flying the American aircraft and as many American ones flying our aircraft,' said Marian Petrus.

On the other side, Colonel Christopher Austin, commander of the American Squadron 510 in Aviano, says that six F-16 planes were brought to Campia Turzii.

'The exercise was planned one year ago and is a normal training within the NATO. We are happy to be at Campia Turzii and to train together with our Romanian friends in increasing interoperability. It is an exercise including interception missions in which planes MiG 21 LanceR and F-16 take part,' said Christopher Austin.

Manager of the exercise Adrian Motorca says they will do air interception exercises, air combat, but that there would be no real shooting, only a simulated one.

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