by Staff Sgt. Chad Warren
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
9/17/2015 - KECSKEMET AIR BASE, Hungary -- Four
F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft and support personnel assigned to the 123rd
Expeditionary Fighter Squadron completed forward deployment to
Kecskemet, Hungary, from Campia Turzii, Romania, Sept. 15, 2015.
The 123rd EFS is part of the 142nd Fighter Wing located in Portland,
Oregon, and is deployed as part of the European theater security
The four aircraft forward deployed in support of Operation Atlantic
Resolve in order to train and test their ability to operate out of
Kecskemet Air Base, strengthen interoperability and demonstrate U.S.
commitment to the security and stability of Europe.
"Overall, establishing the relationship with us being here and being
able to communicate with them and integrate our training together
solidifies our relationship with our NATO allies and makes it a lot
easier for us to do this in the future," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Aaron
Lamont, 123rd EFS F-15 pilot, while discussing the importance of
gaining proficiency working with partner nation equipment and locations.
As part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, the U.S Air Force integrated with
host nation partners, a task that can be challenging but crucial to
working together effectively in potential future conflicts, said U.S.
Air Force Lt. Col. David Christensen, 123rd EFS director of operations.
"Improving interoperability between countries is always important,
especially if we have to work together in some kind of future conflict,"
Christensen said . "Everybody is more comfortable with who they are
working with and understands what's going on so we can better improve
Although the theater security package has brought U.S. aircraft to
several European countries, this is the first deployment to Hungary for
the mission and also the first Air National Guard TSP.
"It's important to show that we are out here and care about what's going
on in Eastern Europe," Christensen said. "It's the first TSP, and it's
also the first Guard TSP so it's important for the Guard to show that we
are helping to support the active duty and all the missions that are
Air National Guard or active duty, the TSP missions are about reassuring
NATO allies and increasing combined war-fighting abilities for the
future, a point that is not lost on 123rd EFS Airmen like Christensen.
"Being able to come out here and improve their operating and making it
so we are set up to be able to operate out of their facilities is a huge
advantage for the future," Christensen said.