Remarks at Papa Air Base

Remarks by Ambassador Colleen Bell

at Papa Air Base

July 27, 2016


Thank you, Minister Simicskó, General Orosz, General Wade, General Mihoczák, Colonel Szűcs, men and women of Papa Air Base and the Colorado Air National Guard.

It is an honor and a pleasure to be here with all of you, especially to witness the enduring cooperation between the Hungarian Defense Forces and the United States Air Force.  Just seven months ago I was here with many of the same distinguished guests to view the A-10s during their successful training mission as part of a NATO exercise.  It is always a  privilege to return to see our continuing teamwork.

For the past two weeks, the Colorado Air National Guard has been flying their F-16s from Papa Air Base in a combined training exercise with Hungarian and regional NATO allied air forces.

Hungarian Gripens, Czech Gripens, Slovenian PC-9s, Slovakian MiG 29s, and a United States  KC-135 and C-130, as well as tactical ground controllers from all five nations, are conducting the largest and most complicated air integration mission in the region since the end of the Balkan operations.  The success of this training mission demonstrates our unique capability to work together and to employ our militaries as one force even as they are based in geographically separated airfields around the region.  They improve our capacity to communicate effectively, to work across cultures, and to launch and control aircraft safely and with precision.  And they show once again that the breadth of engagement between NATO allies continues to expand.

Today, let’s celebrate these awesome aircraft behind us, the people who fly them, the people who maintain them, the people who guide them, and the commitment between our countries to work together for our mutual safety and security.  Thank you very much.