Cajuns Over Budapest

Members of the Louisiana Air National Guard’s 159th Fighter Wing took 10 of their F-15s to Hungary last month to participate in dissimilar air combat training drills against Hungarian Air Force MiG-29 Fulcrums and JAS-39 Gripens. The exercise, dubbed Load Diffuser 2008, took place from June 12-29 at Szentgyörgyi Dezso Air Base in Kecskemet, southeast of Budapest. In all 196 airmen from the wing made the journey, along with the F-15s, marking the first Air Force deployment of this size to the air base. In the 10 days of flying, the wing flew up to 14 sorties a day. “We demonstrated the capabilities of the F-15, and the Hungarian Air Force did the same with the Fulcrum and the Gripen,” said Lt. Col. Scott Tyler, F-15 pilot and 159th FW vice commander. “On every sortie, US and HuAF pilots applied lessons learned from previous flights and became better warriors as members of the NATO team.” (Kecskemet report by MSgt. Suzanne Chaillot)