Exercise Sentry Lion 2006 will take place from June 2-16, 2006 at the Graf Ignatievo Air Force Base near Plovdiv. During this joint exercise, United States Air Force in Europe (USAFE), represented by Oregon Air National Guard’s 173rd Fighter Wing, will conduct a joint air to air exercise with Bulgarian Air Force units at Graf Ignatievo. The exercise will also include aircraft from the Bezmer Air Force Base. The goal of the exercise is to familiarize U.S. and Bulgarian personnel with air to air operations, tactics, techniques and procedures with the goal of improving interoperability amongst NATO allied pilots and units. Sentry Lion 06 will further demonstrate the value of joint training between NATO units to deploy and train with the Bulgarian Armed Forces.
In addition to the flying missions, a limited humanitarian and civic assistance will be conducted. The 173rd Fighter Wing’s medical personnel will perform joint optometric exams for the population of four villages in the Plovdiv region in cooperation with Bulgarian Armed Forces Military Medical Academy and the Bulgarian Ministry of Health personnel. As part of the humanitarian assistance mission, the US military medical staff will distribute, free of charge, approximately 5000 pairs of prescription eye glasses. The total number of U.S. Air Force personnel to be deployed will be around 130.
8 Oregon ANG are reported to arrive tomorrow 30th may at LAkenheath for fuel stop en route to Bulgaria.