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RAF C-17 aircraft trains in Hungary

5th July 2016 - 12:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


The British Royal Air Force's 99 Squadron's C-17 strategic transport aircraft has been deployed to conduct night flying training at the Hungarian Air Force’s (HAF) airbase, Pápa, it was announced on 30 June.

Pápa airbase is home to the Heavy Airlift Wing alliance of 12 countries that use the C-17 for long-range heavy airlift. Members include Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden and the US.

The airbase is equipped with specialist lighting capabilities to allow aircrew to train in demanding conditions, including night operations and assault landings. This training exercise is focussed on night vision goggle training.

Iain Lindsay, the UK’s Ambassador to Hungary, said: ‘This is the first time the [RAF has] held a joint exercise working with the Heavy Airlift Wing; it’s a fantastic capability and I hope to see the RAF’s C-17s back in Hungary soon. We value our allies and partners and our existing cooperation. NATO will remain in the heart of UK defence strategy. There’s great scope for more UK-Hungary defence cooperation in the future.’

Ben Mountfield, 99 Squadron pilot, added: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for us to train at an airfield specifically designed for C-17s. It’s great to enjoy the free airspace around Pápa, which allows us to manoeuvre the aircraft to develop our tactical procedures. Our NATO allies here in Hungary have been so welcoming – they’re beyond reproach. We’re absolutely looking forward to working with them again.’

The Shephard News Team


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