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New era: U.S. Air Force makes historic deployment to Ukraine

Posted by Dylan Malyasov on


The 144th Fighter Wing F-15C Eagle fighter jets are making a historic deployment for the first time ever on Ukrainian soil to participate in Clear Sky 2018.

One of Ukraine’s biggest military exercises began on Monday, Oct. 8, 2018, at Starokostiantyniv and Vinnytsia Air bases. The Clear Sky exercise will continue until 19 October.

A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle fighter jets assigned to the 144th Fighter Wing from California Air National Guard Base Fresno temporarily deployed to Starokostiantyniv Air base to conduct aviation exercises with the Ukrainian Sy-27 and MiG-29.

The Clear Sky exercise focus on the air-to-ground scenarios with AI (air interdiction) and CAS (Close Air Support) missions, as well as air mobility operations, aeromedical evacuation, cyber defense and personnel recovery.

The exercise promotes regional stability and security, while strengthening partner capabilities and fostering trust. The training at CLEAR SKY greatly improves interoperability among participating countries.

“Military cooperation is like a big ship on a course, the crews change out, but the course is pretty much the same. We stay consistent and have enjoyed a consistent 25-year relationship with Ukraine. Post 2014, we have picked up speed on the course and we are now moving more quickly towards our common goals,” said U.S. Army Col. Robert Peters, Chief of the Office of Defense Cooperation.

Engagements are a large component of the State Partnership Program and the Clear Sky 2018 exercise currently taking place on Starokonstantinov Air Base, Ukraine.

“Our goal is to work with them while honoring their right to choose to more towards the West. As part of that, we
help them defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity through our defense corroboration programs,” said Peters.

“The Clear Sky 2018 exercise is a very visible, high profile event, and our role is to augment what is planned and executed by USAFE and the California ANG. We help fill the gaps, and the State Partnership Program is a huge component of that. ” said Peters.

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