U.S., Hungary join forces for Load Diffuser Exercise

KECSKEMET, Hungary — U.S. Air Forces in Europe and the Ohio Air National Guard's 178th Fighter Wing have partnered to support the Load Diffuser Exercise 2010 April 26-May 7.

The LD2010 is a joint exercise with the Hungarian Joint Forces Command. The exercise aims to sharpen the combat capabilities of the participating forces.

U.S. Air Force pilots and Hungarian air force pilots are training together in air-to-air combat scenarios, using the U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon, Hungarian air force JAS-39 Gripen, MiG-29 Fulcrum and the Mi-24 Hind aircraft.

"It is one of the few training opportunities they (the Hungarian air force) have to fly against a larger formation," said Air Force Lt. Col. Nathan Thomas, the LD2010 project officer. "It is to help improve their skills and a way to improve ours."

The U.S. Air Force and Hungarian air force pilots are working with the Hungarian joint terminal air controllers to direct aircraft against simulated ground targets, said Thomas. 

Thomas also said the Hungarian Mi-24 helicopters are working with the U.S. Air Force and Hungarian air force to conduct ground-base air defense exercises.

In addition to practicing air combat maneuvers against the F-16, Hungarian air force servicemembers are training to work with the F-16. Airmen from USAFE and the 178th FW are educating aircraft maintainers and firefighters from the Hungarian air force on operating an F-16.

The Hungarian air force welcomed USAFE and the 178th FW with an opening ceremony April 26. Both U.S. Air Force and Hungarian air force servicemembers attended the ceremony, which kicked off the Load Diffuser Exercise 2010.


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