Bulgarian air force MiG-29 pilot, Capt. Petar Milkov, climbs into a U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon for his ride-along flight April 19, 2012, at Graf Ignatievo Air Force Base, Bulgaria, while Col. David Walker, 31st Operations Group and Thracian Star 2012 detachment commander from the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base, Italy, reviews his pre-flight checklist. In order to increase interoperability between the two nations, U.S. and Bulgarian pilots are scheduled to spend more than 60 hours per week flying close air support, basic fighter and air combat maneuvers, tactical intercepts, defensive counter air and large force missions during the month-long exercise. Milkov was the first of several MiG-29 pilots to fly in an F-16 during the exercise.
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