28.11.2013 Michal Khayut - iaf.org.il
Bulgarian Air Force Commander arrived at Israel last week, with the aim of strengthening the cooperation between the Israeli and Bulgarian Air Forces. During the visit he attended the “Blue Flag” exercise
Major General Konstantin Popov, Bulgarian Air Force Commander, landed in Israel last week as part of the growing cooperation between the Israeli and Bulgarian Air Forces. "I believe the cooperation has two parts: First we should get a better understanding of each other's lives, traditions and training methods", explained the Bulgarian Air Force Commander during his visit to the "Scorpion" squadron in Hatzor Airbase. "The second and main purpose is to enhance military cooperation in perspective of aerial training activities. We are in good relations with the Israeli Air Force Commander, Major General Amir Eshel and I'm impressed with his work and vision".
This is not the first time the two forces meet: the first joint training of the forces took place two years ago. The "Scorpion" squadron, which uses the F-16 aircraft, went to Bulgaria. That was the first time the Israeli air force landed in Bulgaria during training.
"The Bulgarian and Israeli Air Forces have short but very fruitful bilateral training history", said the Bulgarian Air Force Commander. "In the future, the Bulgarian Air Force is interested on including more platforms and missions in the bilateral trainings with the Israeli Air Force".
During his stay in Israel, the Bulgarian Air Force Commander watched the international "Blue Flag" exercise that took place in Ovda Airbase last week. "I am really impressed with the exercise", he said after watching it. "It is an international exercise that is being held for the first time in Israel and the execution is perfect. It was a great opportunity to be here and to observe how the leading forces in military aviation perform advance and realistic pilot training".
The primary mission of the Bulgarian Air Force is to guarantee the sovereignty and security of the country. "The experience gained during large number of multinational and bilateral trainings, can offer the Israeli Air Force a very realistic environment in which to train against potential threats", Explained the Bulgarian Air Force Commander. "From the Israeli side, the Israeli Air Force offered us opportunity to train against and learn from one of the worlds' high level trained and equipped forces with real combat experience".