Sabers participate in Trident Juncture 2018
By Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder, 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 30, 2018
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- Airmen, aircraft and support equipment from the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, 171st Air Refueling Wing, and 134th ARW began flight operations in Norway for Trident Juncture 2018 on Oct. 25, 2018. They join more than 50,000 military members from 31 nations taking part in this NATO-led exercise.
The exercise, conducted over several different European countries including Norway, Finland and Sweden, is designed to test NATO’s ability to plan and conduct a major collective defense operation, ranging from troop training at the tactical level, to command over large elements of a NATO force.
“This is my first time to Sweden, and it has been eye opening how gracious our hosts are and the speed in which we were able to inter-operate with them,” said Lt. Col. Michael Richard, 480th EFS commander. “Being able to fly locally right after we got here was a great accomplishment, and we would like to express our gratitude to the Swedes.”
“An exercise of this scale allows us to demonstrate our readiness, to move F-16’s and support personnel from Germany to Sweden expeditiously and getting the aircraft flying again expeditiously is something we really value from a training perspective,” said Richard.
“This exercise allows us to work many different nations, something that the guard doesn’t normally get the chance to experience on a daily basis,” said Lt. Col. Bradley Cook, tanker detachment commander.
Guard and reserve tanker units will provide more than 75 percent of the aerial refueling support for the duration of Trident Juncture.