June 5 (BTA) – Defence Minister Krassimir Karakachanov and Defence Chief Emil Eftimov on Friday met with the first four Bulgarian airmen to undergo training in the US for the F-16 Block 70 fighter jet which will be acquired by the Bulgarian Air Force.
These are Major Stoyan Petkov, Captain Alexander Velinov, Captain Todor Todorov and Senior Lieutenant Simeon Georgiev from the Graf Ignatievo Air Base.
In his address Minister Karakachanov called them “the future of the Bulgarian air force” and presented them will small icons of St George, the patron saint of the Bulgarian Armed Forces.
The Bulgarian airmen will undergo training according to schedules and programmes designed for US airmen. Initially the four will take a 9-week language training at the Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio Texas. Core training in the F-16 jet will last around 3 years and 4 months.
Training will comprise of several stages and will take place at the training centres of the US Air Education and Training Command. The Bulgarian pilots will undergo physical training in a hyperbaric chamber and a centrifuge, the Bulgarian Defence Ministry said. NV/PP