Ramstein Airmen put down stakes for Carpathian Summer

Story and photo by Senior Airman Timothy Moore 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Airman 1st Class Zachary Hitchcock, 37th Airlift Squadron crew chief, marshalls an 86th Airlift Wing C-130J Super Hercules away from its parking spot Aug. 16 at Otopeni Air Base, Romania.
Airman 1st Class Zachary Hitchcock, 37th Airlift Squadron crew chief, marshalls an 86th Airlift Wing C-130J Super Hercules away from its parking spot Aug. 16 at Otopeni Air Base, Romania.

OTOPENI AIR BASE, Romania — Ramstein personnel and 86th Airlift Wing C-130J Super Hercules aircraft arrived Aug. 14 at Otopeni Air Base, Romania, to participate in an off-station training exercise, Carpathian Summer.

The bilateral training exercise was designed to allow Airmen to increase readiness and interoperability with the Romanian air force.

“I’m hoping to partner with our Romanian friends, learn some things from them and teach some things as well,” said Tech. Sgt. Peter Schopperle, 86th Logistics Readiness Squadron NCOIC of aerial delivery.

To further emphasize and increase interoperability, the U.S. Air Force transferred the C-130Js’ authority to NATO for the duration of the event.


This transfer of authority is a standard procedure that will serve to enhance interoperability and readiness to conduct combined air operations with Romania and NATO as allies routinely transfer their assests to NATO for air policing or during training and exercises.

Along with increasing joint capabilities between forces, Carpathian Summer also allows 37th Airlift Squadron Airmen to practice training that is not readily available at home station.

“Trips like this allow us to train to more realistic scenarios than we are able to in Germany,” said Capt. Douglas Mabe, 37th AS C-130J pilot. “Everybody gets a chance to become more proficient.”

This operational training also grants U.S. Air Forces in Europe and the Romanian forces the opportunity to extend their joint warfighting capabilities.

Additionally, Carpathian Summer offers the chance to ensure USAFE is “Forward, Ready, Now” and able to provide capabilities and execute missions ranging from humanitarian relief to combat operations in support of combatant commands and national objectives.

Though the training is just kicking off, enthusiasm is high as Airmen and their Romanian counterparts seem eager to work.

“I want to get the overall experience of doing my job in a different environment and atmosphere and learning as much as possible,” Schopperle said.