Sunday, December 4, 2022

U.S. Air Force released details of historic deployment to Ukraine

According to the press service of the U.S. Air Force, Ukraine will host the Clear Sky 2018 joint and multinational exercise on October 8-19. 

Clear Sky 2018 is a joint and multinational exercise that will involve approximately 950 personnel from nine nations, including Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The exercise aims to enhance professional skills of crews within the coalitional environment, increase of compatibility level with Air Force of the United States and other NATO nations, ensure effective joint command and control, and work out search and rescue operations, aeromedical evacuation, and cybersecurity.


This year marks the 25th anniversary of collaboration between the California Air National Guard and Ukraine as part of U.S. European Command’s State Partnership Program, and this exercise will include the robust participation of California ANG units. Aircraft from California units will include F-15C Eagles and a C-130J Super Hercules.

Other U.S. aircraft participating in the exercise will include an F-15D from the 48th Fighter Wing, KC-135s from the Illinois ANG and the 100th Air Refueling Wing, and MQ-9s operating out of Miroslawiec AB, Poland.

The Pennsylvania ANG will provide Joint Terminal Attack Controller instructors, and several additional units from California, Maryland, Ohio, New York, Alaska, Washington and bases in Europe are also scheduled to participate.

The Ukrainian Air Force plan to assign 5 units of tactical aviation, included Su-24, Su-27, MiG-29 combat aircraft, and about 350 personnel.

The exercise participants will not use combat weapons during maneuvers.

The first F-15C Eagle fighter jets already landed at Starokostiantyniv Air Base where the majority of the multinational exercise.

On Oct. 6, 2018, U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagles, belonging to the 194th Fighting Squadron of the 144th Fighter Wing, California ANG, from California Air National Guard Base Fresno, California, landed for the first time ever on Ukrainian soil.

F-15C fighter jets from the California Air National Guard are secured for the evening on their first night at Starokostiantyniv Air Base, Ukraine, in preparation for participation in CLEAR SKY 2018. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Charles Vaughn

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Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.