OTOPENI AIR BASE, Romania — Military members from the U.S. and Romania joined forces for a bilateral training exercise in Otopeni, Romania, Aug. 21.
Three C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron, along with approximately 160 Airmen from the 86th Airlift Wingarrived at Otopeni Air Base to conduct combined air operations with the Romanian Air Force.
Exercise Carpathian Fall aims to enhance interoperability, strengthen relationships with NATO partners, and maintain joint readiness. The exercise is scheduled to run for approximately two weeks, and involves low-level tactical maneuvers, personnel airdrops and assault landings.
Capt. Jacob Morton, Carpathian Fall 2017 mission commander, expressed his optimism concerning the exercise. The training event gives U.S. and Romanian troops a chance to learn from each other and sharpen their skills together, said Morton.
“Carpathian Fall is about building our longstanding relationship with the Romanian Air Force,” he said. “We’ve done this for many years now, it’s some of the best training we’ve had in Europe. Our relationship with the Romanian Air Force is excellent, and we want to maintain that by working together.”
Participants in the exercise come from a variety of career fields including aircraft maintenance, logistics, intelligence, contingency response, medical and U.S. Army paratroopers.
Morton stressed the importance of cooperation between allies, explaining that mission effectiveness increases when one understands how the other works. He expanded on some of the similarities of Romanian and American equipment, particularly their aircraft.
“If we’re not training together, there’s a chance we might show up and not know what everyone else is doing,” Morton said. “The more we fly together, the better we can fight together.”