Five F-16 aircraft of the Royal Dutch Air Force landed on Tuesday, November 7, in the 86th Air Base “Lieutenant Aviator Gheorghe Mociorniță” in Fetești, the Romanian Ministry of Defense announced on Tuesday, November 7.
The aircraft will serve the European F-16 Training Center (EFTC), established as a result of the collaboration between the Ministry of National Defense, through the Romanian Air Force and the Ministry of Defense of the Netherlands, through the Royal Air Force, in partnership with the Lockheed Martin Company and with the support of the Kingdom of Denmark, co-ordinating state alongside the Netherlands, of the international F-16 Coalition.
The center will be an international hub for F-16 pilot training and will facilitate increased interoperability between allies. At the same time, it will contribute to the creation of common operational standards and to strengthening the capacity of the North Atlantic Alliance to face the complex challenges in the Black Sea region and in Eastern Europe. According to the collaboration agreement, the Romanian Ministry of Defense provides the 86th Air Base, training facilities and host nation support, the Royal Netherlands Air Force provides F-16 aircraft, and the Lockheed Martin Company provides the instructors and maintenance.
EFTC will contribute to speeding up the training process of Romanian pilots, in the context in which the Romanian Army is preparing to receive 32 F-16 aircraft, recently purchased from Norway.
According to the cited source, considering the current geopolitical context and Romania’s strategic position in the Black Sea region, this center becomes essential for cross-border collaboration, strengthening security and strengthening solidarity within NATO.
By establishing the European F-16 Training Center, Romania is committed to providing a high-quality training environment, with access to state-of-the-art technical resources and know-how, not only for Romanian pilots but also for those from allied states and partners, including Ukraine.