About 100 members of the Ohio Air National Guard’s 178th Fighter Wing in Springfield arrived in Kecskemet, Hungary, in late April to participate in a two-week combat-training exercise sponsored by the Hungarian military. The event runs through May 10. These Air Guardsmen, who operate F-16 fighters, will practice together with their Hungarian air force hosts in air-to-air combat scenarios, flying maneuvers both with them and in mock adversarial roles. The Hungarians will fly their JAS-39 and MiG-29 fighters and Mi-24 helicopters. “It is one of the few training opportunities [the Hungarians] have to fly against a larger formation,” said Lt. Col. Nathan Thomas, the wing’s project officer for the exercise. The two nations’ pilots will also simulate ground attacks coordinated through US-trained Hungarian joint terminal air controllers. (Kecskemet report by SSgt. Tina Maddock)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.