EFTC Student Pilots Train with Alabama ANG

European F-16 Training Center Student Pilots Conduct Aerial Refueling with the Alabama Air National Guard


June 12, 2024

This past May, Romanian student pilots from the European F-16 Training Center (EFTC) at the 86 Fetești Air Base in southern Romania took part in an intensive two-week aerial refueling exercise with the Alabama Air National Guard in Romania. This vital exercise, a cornerstone of their training, illustrated their readiness for real-world operations as they approach graduation this summer.


"The F-16 has cultivated strategic partnerships with the United States and its allies, establishing the foundation for close cooperation, including NATO standardization and training practices," said OJ Sanchez, vice president and general manager, Integrated Fighter Group, Lockheed Martin. "This joint training mission highlights the strong international collaborations that the F-16 continues to foster, underscoring the crucial role it plays in 21st Century Security® missions.” 

Established in 2023, the EFTC enhances pilot readiness and safety through a combination of front-line flying experience, European Military Airworthiness standards knowledge, and advanced logistics and training management. This collective expertise ensures that Romanian and future F-16 operators receive high-quality instruction and support.

At present, the EFTC is training eight student pilots from the Romanian Air Force. The first two students are scheduled to graduate the first week of July, a clear indication of their progress and the program's effectiveness. One pilot is undergoing the instructor upgrade, reaffirming Lockheed Martin's commitment to delivering affordable world-class training. Additionally, the center has recently conducted its first night training sorties, further equipping students for various operational scenarios.

Upon graduation, these pilots will be fully equipped for real-world combat situations, strengthening Romania's air defense capabilities and contributing significantly to allied coalition defense missions in Europe.