A USAF KC-135 refueled a Romanian F-16 for the first time last month, marking the first time the aircraft from each nation have worked together. A KC-135 and airmen from the 100th Air Refueling Wing at RAF Mildenhall, England, deployed to Romania earlier this year to set up joint operations for the first time with Romania’s young F-16 program. In 2014, Romania began its shift from MiG-21s to F-16s and until February solely relied on Italian refueling aircraft. With the Feb. 28 refueling, the Romanian Air Force officially became certified to refuel from USAF KC-135s, according to an Air Force release.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.