Subscribe

RAF MILDENHALL — Airmen from across the United Kingdom have deployed to Romania for a joint training exercise dubbed Sniper Lance 2007.

More than 200 airmen arrived at the Mihail Kogalniceanu air base on April 20 to participate in the nearly two-week exercise, according to a U.S. Air Force news release.

The training rotation is set to include RAF Mildenhall’s KC-135s, RAF Lakenheath’s F-15s, as well as MiG-21s from the Romanian air force’s 86th Air Base, the release said.

The Romanian and American air forces are slated to practice air combat maneuvers as well as air-to-air refueling.

“The airspace we’ll be training in will enhance our capabilities and provide realistic training opportunities we have difficulty finding in western Europe,” said Capt. Jesus Figueroa of the 493rd Fighter Squadron, based out of RAF Lakenheath.

The exercise follows a training scenario, dubbed Viper Lance 2006, between the two nations’ air forces last year, in which F-16s from the 22nd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron flew from Mihail Kogalniceanu air base.

In 2005, U.S. and Romanian officials signed a “presence” agreement, which allowed for the presence of U.S. forces beginning this year, according to an Air Force release. The Romanian parliament ratified the agreement in June 2006.

Gen. Tom Hobbins, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, was in the former Soviet nation in October to meet with local military leaders.

The U.S. military is working on plans to base about 100 soldiers and airmen at Mihail Kogalniceanu for a new joint task force headquarters. The base was used by Americans as early as 2003 to airlift troops and supplies to Iraq.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up