Thracian Spring in Bulgaria

Airmen from Ramstein AB, Germany, are among the contingent of more than 90 US military personnel participating in Exercise Thracian Spring 2011 with Bulgarian paratroopers in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The 11-day event, which concludes on Friday, has already included static-line and high-altitude low-opening jumps for more than 400 Bulgarian paratroopers, alongside US paratroopers, from two of Ramstein’s C-130J transports. Ramstein aircrews have also had the opportunity to conduct low-level training free of the airspace restrictions back home in Germany as well as container delivery system drops and night-vision-goggle training. Among the goals of the bilateral exercise is to help improve Bulgaria’s interoperability with its NATO partners. “Sharing knowledge and activities will strengthen the US and Bulgarian partnership for future operations,” said Capt. John Holland, a C-130J pilot with Ramstein’s 37th Airlift Squadron. (Plovdiv report by A1C Desiree W. Esposito)