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In the News (61)

Change of Command - Lt. Col. BENJAMIN S. FREEBORN

Written by David Sarvai Published in In the News

Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin S. Freeborn is the Commander, 510th Fighter Squadron, Aviano Air Base, Italy.

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Maintaining Aircraft Integrity One Coat at a Time

Written by David Sarvai Published in In the News

With a new state-of-the-art Corrosion Control Facility on Aviano, aircrafts are now serviced in-house for a quarter of the cost.

Up until last year, all F-16 Fighting Falcons on Aviano were sent to either Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, or a Belgian based aerospace company for repainting, costing the Air Force nearly $108,000 each time.

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F-16s Head to Estonia for Training

Written by David Sarvai Published in In the News

Airmen and aircraft assigned to the 31st Fighter Wing departed Aviano Air Base, Italy, March 20, 2015 to participate in bilateral training with the Estonian air force and simultaneous but unrelated training with the Finnish and Swedish air forces in their airspace.

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Seven F-16 Fighting Falcons from 510th Fighter Squadron and approximately 150 support personnel from the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base, Italy, arrived at the U.S. Air Force Aviation Detachment here, Sept. 4 and 5.

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Buzzard Heads Aviano - Team Aviano Welcomes New Commander

Written by David Sarvai Published in In the News

 Brig. Gen. Barre Seguin took command of the 31st Fighter Wing from Brig. Gen. Jon Norman during a change of command ceremony here, June 9.

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AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- While most Airmen at the end of March were parting ways with the hair above their upper lip; a dozen pilots from the 510th Fighter Squadron were parting ways with the hair on their head.

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AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- Joint-service combat search and rescue training missions were held for the first-time Jan. 28 to Feb. 11 at Cellina Meduna training grounds near Maniago, Italy.

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CAMPIA TURZII, Romania -- U.S. Air Force Capt. (Dr.) Rocky Jedick, 510th Fighter Squadron flight surgeon, provided a G-force brief to Romanian air force MiG-21 Lancer pilots in preparation for F-16 Fighting Falcon training, at Campia Turzii, Romania, April 11, 2014.

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CAMPIA TURZII, Romania -- U.S. and Romanian Airmen met during the Dacian Viper 2014 opening ceremony at the 71st Air Base in Campia Turzii, Romania, April 10, 2014.

Romanian air force Cmdr. Petrus Marian, 71st AB commander; Cmdr. Adrian Motorga, 711th Squadron commander; and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Christopher Austin, 510th Fighter Squadron commander, greeted the crowd as a dozen Romanian reporters captured the ceremony's events.

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CAMPIA TURZII, Romania -- The week-long bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Romanian air forces concluded at the 71st Air Base, Campia Turzii, Romania, April 17, 2014.

The exercise, which began April 10, enhanced interoperability and readiness between the NATO partners through combined air operations between F-16 Fighting Falcons from Aviano Air Base, Italy, and MiG-21 Lancers from the 71st AB.

"Combined training with Romania demonstrates that we share a commitment to promote a peaceful and stable Europe," said Lt. Col. Douglas Hellinger, 510th Fighter Squadron assistant director of operations and project officer for the exercise. "This exercise increased the level of cooperation between our militaries."

U.S. and Romanian Airmen joined together in a formation during a closing ceremony held at the base, which demonstrated the partnership built during the exercise.

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta was also in attendance.

"We welcome your friendship," he said to the U.S. Air Force Airmen in attendance. "I came here today to praise this exercise and the importance of our partnership. Romania understands how impactful it is to us to be a partner of the U.S."

At the ceremony, Ponta took the opportunity to discuss the benefits of the F-16, which he had the unique opportunity to co-pilot just moments before.

"I came to see the capability of the F-16 as a buyer of this unbelievable technology," Ponta said. "The F-16 is impressive. I feel safe in the F-16 and will feel even safer come 2017."

Romania recently signed a contract to acquire F-16s from Portugal within the next few years, a step forward in military capability.

"It proves that our security future can be relied on," Ponta concluded.

The exercise marked the first time Team Aviano Airmen have partnered with the Romanian air force.

by Staff Sgt. R.J. Biermann
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

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