Devils in Bulgaria

New Jersey Air National Guard F-16s recently participated in multinational Exercise Thracian Star hosted by the Bulgarian air force at Graf Ignatievo AB, Bulgaria. “We came over here primarily to do air-to-air training in basic fighting maneuvers and tactical intercepts,” 119th Fighter Squadron Commander Lt. Col. Timothy Hassel said in a July 27 release. Thracian Star gave the pilots “a chance to fly against an actual MiG”—both MiG-21s and MiG?-29s—and practice interoperability with allied aircraft from Greece, Poland, and Romania, according to a Hellenic Air Force release. A total of eight F-16s and 150 pilots, maintainers, and support personnel from the ANG’s 177th Fighter Wing at Atlantic City deployed for the exercise, July 13-24.