August 28, 2009 (by Asif Shamim) - The 149th FW, Texas Air National Guard will send six F-16 jet fighters to particpate in a 10-day training exercise at the Czech Air Force Base in Caslav, central Bohemia, starting on September 7 according to the Czech Defence Ministry.
An instructor pilot with the Texas ANG's 149th FW returns to base in F-16D block 30 #87-0368 from the 182nd FS after completing an Exercise Coronet Cactus training mission on April 24th, 2009 near Tucson IAP. The 149th FW trains active duty F-16 pilots prior to assignment to their first duty station. [USAF photo by MSgt. Jack Braden]
The first troops are expected to arrive in Caslav on September 3. In all, 98 members of the Texas National Guard will come for the exercise.
Apart from training flights, the F-16 pilots and their Czech colleagues will also exchange experience of their participation in foreign missions during the September Squadron Exchange exercise.
This is not the first such exercise to be held. In 2007 Belgian F-16 pilots trained in Caslav alongside the Czechs.
In 2006, Swedish pilots of the Jas-39 Gripen fighters were on the training course at Caslav. The Jas-39 Gripen aircraft is also used by Czech pilots.
Next week, pilots from Caslav airbase will return from there first foreign mission after spending three months patrolling the air space of the three Baltic states which are members of NATO