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Texas, Nebraska ANG participate in international exercise
149th Fighter Wing (Texas Air National Guard)
June 29, 2018 | 2:07
Members of the 149th Fighter Wing recently deployed to the Czech Republic to participate in an air-to-air exercise called Sky Avenger. This year’s exercise coincides with 100 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries and is the 25th anniversary that Czech and U.S. forces have partnered together under the National Guard’s State Partnership Program.

SOT: Maj. Thomas Werner, F-16 instructor pilot
“I think it’s a fantastic opportunity to actually celebrate the 25th anniversary on location, working with Nebraska, working with the Czechs, and what better way than to celebrate it by doing an exercise joint-wise where we get to integrate with them, where we get to refuel with Nebraska, get to fly with the Czechs and all the mission sets that we do. We learn all kinds of things from them. They learn some things from us and I think all three of us - all three parties involved end up the better for it.”

The program links U.S. states with key partner countries around the world. Texas and Nebraska Guard members share one of these partnerships with our Czech allies, and take turns hosting events at each other’s bases.

SOT: SMSgt Donald Yedlicka, Quality Assurance chief inspector
“Because of the NATO pact that I think it helps us be able to work together logistically if we had to deploy here and fight something on a bigger theater like this - hopefully that would never come to fruition, but if that’s the case it’s better to have gone through the paces to be able to do it and be fairly proficient at it.”

SOT: 1st Lt. Jan Brzon, Czech Air Force Logistics Officer
“I should probably say it’s improving our defensive capabilities, but to me, personally, it’s more about the human experience. It’s about different cultures as well. You guys are trying to shake my hand every time I see you, even if it’s like the fifth time I’ve already seen you. It’s always about hand shakes which is kind of nice. I think you guys are just down to earth, sincere, nice guys.”

Reporting for the 149th Fighter Wing from CASLAV Air Base in the Czech Republic, I’m Tech. Sgt. Mindy Bloem.
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