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Ramstein takes to the skies for Thracian Summer 18

Participants of Thracian Summer 2018 attend a safety briefing before beginning operations in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, July 12, 2018. More than 10 units worked together to ensure the exercise kicked off successfully to build interoperability with the Bulgarian military. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

Participants of Thracian Summer 2018 attend a safety briefing before beginning operations in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, July 12, 2018. More than 10 units worked together to ensure the exercise kicked off successfully to build interoperability with the Bulgarian military. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft lands during Thracian Summer 2018 after performing a personnel drop with Bulgarians in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, July 13, 2018. During the exercise, the 37th Airlift Squadron worked on personnel and equipment airdrops both during day and night operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft lands during Thracian Summer 2018 after performing a personnel drop with Bulgarians in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, July 13, 2018. During the exercise, the 37th Airlift Squadron worked on personnel and equipment airdrops both during day and night operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

U.S. Army Sgt. Kwame Scaife, 5th Quartermaster Theater Aerial Delivery Company parachute rigger inspects a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft’s static line anchor cable for fraying in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, July 14, 2018. Army jumpmasters assisted in ensuring the safety and proper execution of jump techniques during the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

U.S. Army Sgt. Kwame Scaife, 5th Quartermaster Theater Aerial Delivery Company parachute rigger inspects a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft’s static line anchor cable for fraying in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, July 14, 2018. Army jumpmasters assisted in ensuring the safety and proper execution of jump techniques during the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

A 37th Airlift Squadron patch rests on the shoulder of a member of the unit at Plovdiv, Bulgaria, July 14, 2018. The 37th AS facilitated training with Bulgarian partners during Thracian Summer 2018, a forward training deployment, which aims to build trusted relationships and interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

A 37th Airlift Squadron patch rests on the shoulder of a member of the unit at Plovdiv, Bulgaria, July 14, 2018. The 37th AS facilitated training with Bulgarian partners during Thracian Summer 2018, a forward training deployment, which aims to build trusted relationships and interoperability. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft flies over Plovdiv, Bulgaria, July 14, 2018. Pilots from the 37th Airlift Squadron performed low-level flying maneuvers, personnel and equipment airdrops, and night flying tactics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft flies over Plovdiv, Bulgaria, July 14, 2018. Pilots from the 37th Airlift Squadron performed low-level flying maneuvers, personnel and equipment airdrops, and night flying tactics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

A Bulgarian jumper hooks onto a static line inside a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft over Plovdiv, Bulgaria, July 14, 2018. During Thracian Summer 2018, U.S. and Bulgarian forces trained both static-line jumps and free falls. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

A Bulgarian jumper hooks onto a static line inside a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft over Plovdiv, Bulgaria, July 14, 2018. During Thracian Summer 2018, U.S. and Bulgarian forces trained both static-line jumps and free falls. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

A Bulgarian jumper holds onto his ripcord inside a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft before performing a static-line jump over Plovdiv, Bulgaria, July 14, 2018. When performing a static-line jump, the cord is pulled by an attached line from the plane upon jumping. During Thracian Summer 2018, U.S. and Bulgarian forces trained both static-line jumps and free falls. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

A Bulgarian jumper holds onto his ripcord inside a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft before performing a static-line jump over Plovdiv, Bulgaria, July 14, 2018. When performing a static-line jump, the cord is pulled by an attached line from the plane upon jumping. During Thracian Summer 2018, U.S. and Bulgarian forces trained both static-line jumps and free falls. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

A Bulgarian jumper performs a static-line jump from a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft over Plovdiv, Bulgaria, July 14, 2018. During Thracian Summer 2018, U.S. and Bulgarian forces trained both static-line jumps and free falls. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

A Bulgarian jumper performs a static-line jump from a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft over Plovdiv, Bulgaria, July 14, 2018. During Thracian Summer 2018, U.S. and Bulgarian forces trained both static-line jumps and free falls. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike)

PLOVDIV, Bulgaria --

Two U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft and about 60 Airmen from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, arrived at Plovdiv, Bulgaria, July 10 and 11, to kick-off Thracian Summer 2018.

The 37th Airlift Squadron is facilitating the training, scheduled for approximately two weeks, with Bulgarian partners to continue to maintain readiness, trusted relationships, and interoperability. The training will include equipment and personnel airdrops both during the day and night, as well as fighter integration and aeromedical evacuation training.

“Our goal for this exercise is to execute our C-130J training with our Bulgarian partners to validate NATO airlift capabilities and strengthen our relationship,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Pete Wolber, 37th AS chief of scheduling and Thracian Summer 2018 mission commander. “We will be working on mountainous low-level flying maneuvers, airdrop training, and night vision training for our pilots and loadmasters.”

In addition to the C-130J training opportunities, personnel with the 86th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron are working on integrating and training with members of the Bulgarian Medical Military Academy.

Other units participating in Thracian Summer 2018 include the 86th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, the 86th Operations Support Squadron, the 86th Logistics Readiness Squadron, the 435th Contingency Response Group, the 700th Contracting Squadron, the 1st Combat Communication Squadron, the 76th Airlift Squadron, and the 621st Mobility Support Operations Squadron.

“The key during this exercise is the integration of all the roles different units play,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Jake Jones, 37th AS executive officer and Thracian Summer 2018 deputy mission commander. “We can’t fly without the efforts of each unit.”

While each unit operates together to accomplish the goals of Thracian Summer 18, members work toward building better interoperability with the Bulgarian Military.

“Thracian Summer gives us and our Bulgarian partners the opportunity to learn how we operate, and how we can better work together,” said Jones. “Each of us are expressing our capabilities and improving our ability to work together in case of any real world threats.”