April 29, 2010 (by SSgt. Tina Maddock) - Approximately 100 members of the 178th Fighter Wing from Springfield, Ohio deployed in support of the Load Diffuser Exercise 2010, April 22 - 27 to Kecskemet, Hungary.
USAF F-16D block 30 #87-0370 from the 162nd FS and a Hungarian Air Force JAS-39 Gripen during the Exercise Load Diffuser 2010 in Kecskemet, Hungary on April 29th, 2010. The exercise aims to sharpen the combat capabilities of the participating forces by conducting a 10 to 15 day flying program. [USAF photo]
The LD2010 is a joint exercise with the Hungarian Joint Force Command. The exercise aims to sharpen the combat capabilities of the participating forces.
United States Air Force pilots and Hungarian Air Force pilots will have the opportunity to engage in different air-to-air combat scenarios. The aircraft involved are the USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon, Hungarian Air Force JAS-39 Gripen, MiG-29 Fulcrum and the Mi-24 Hind.
"It is one of the few training opportunities they (the Hungarian Air Force) have to fly against a larger formation," said Lt. Col. Nathan Thomas, the LD2010 project officer. "It is to help improve their skills and a way to improve ours," said Colonel Thomas.
The USAF and Hungarian Air Force pilots will be working with the Hungarian joint terminal air controllers to direct aircraft against simulated ground targets, said Colonel Thomas. The Hungarian JTACs were trained in the United States.
Colonel Thomas said the Hungarian Mi-24 helicopters will be working with the USAF and Hungarian Air Force to conduct ground base air defense exercises.
In addition to practicing air combat maneuvers against the F-16, Hungarian Air Force servicemembers will be trained to work with the F-16. Airmen from the 178FW will educate aircraft maintainers and fire fighters from the Hungarian Air Force on operating an F-16.
The Hungarian Air Force welcomed the 178FW with an opening ceremony April 26. The ceremony was attended by both USAF and Hungarian Air Force servicemembers which kicked off the Load Diffuser Exercise 2010.
The exercise is scheduled to last two weeks.