Commander of the Air Force, Major General Amir Eshel and his Bulgarian counterpart, Constantin Popolov
This is the first joint-training session between the IAF and the Bulgarian Air Force Combat squadrons of the IAF held their first ever joint training session with the Bulgarian air force. The Commander of the Israeli Air Force took part in the exercise and agreed with the Commander of the Bulgarian Air Force on the importance of cooperation
Two weeks ago, aerial teams from the “Scorpion” and “First Combat” squadrons returned from a training session with the Bulgarian Air Force that was the first of its kind. As part of the unique training session, Israeli F-16c/d planes were flown to Bulgaria, and there they were flown alongside the local planes: MIG 21 planes, MIG 29 planes, Sukhoi 25 planes, all of which are known in Israel as enemy planes used by Arab armies in previous wars.
The Bulgarian Air Force is considered one of the oldest in the world and the new cooperation with the small Middle Eastern country has opened new doors to both sides: The Bulgarian Air Force learned from the technological advancements and challenges that the IAF faces while the new training fields that the Israeli pilots had to operate in gave them a chance to exercise on unfamiliar layouts and increase the level of training.”The Bulgarians cooperated with us and showed a lot of openness. We were briefed together, flew together, and watch the flight tapings together as well. It was a very educating experience for both sides”, said Lieutenant Colonel T’, commander of the “Scorpion Squadron”.
Commander of the IAF, Major General Amir Eshel, arrived in Bulgaria to get an impression of the new cooperation. After taking part in a takeoff, he met with the Bulgarian Air Force Commander, Constantin Popov, and discussed the great significance of the new cooperation between both forces. Commander of the Bulgarian Air Force expressed his appreciation and satisfaction to the visitors of his base and talked about the challenges the Bulgarian Air Force faces.