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140th Wing Fighting Falcon makes history, lands first F-16 at Cerkjle ob Krki Air Base

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 120th Fighter Squadron, 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard, does a low pass fly-by before landing, Cerkjle ob Krki Air Base, Slovenia, 25 July, 2016. The 140th Wing F-16 Fighting Falcons made history when they became the first F-16s to ever land at Cerkjle AB. The 140th WG is currently deployed to Hungary to train with NATO allies in Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic in conjunction with Panther Strike 2016 and Operation Atlantic Resolve. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. John Rohrer)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 120th Fighter Squadron, 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard, does a low pass fly-by before landing, Cerkjle ob Krki Air Base, Slovenia, 25 July, 2016. The 140th Wing F-16 Fighting Falcons made history when they became the first F-16s to ever land at Cerkjle AB. The 140th WG is currently deployed to Hungary to train with NATO allies in Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic in conjunction with Panther Strike 2016 and Operation Atlantic Resolve. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. John Rohrer)

PáPA AIR BASE, Hungary -- An F-16 Fighting Falcon, 120th Fighter Squadron, 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard, Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., does a low pass fly-by during a pattern demonstration, Cerklje ob Krki Air Base, July 25, 2016. The COANG is in Slovenia under the State Partnership Program between Colorado and Slovenia, an ongoing relationship that has been in place since 1993.

It is with great pride that the COANG Fighting Falcons received the honor of being the first F-16s to land on the airfield at Cerklje ob Krki Air Base. The airfield has undergone several changes over recent years to make it a NATO airfield, capable of supporting fighter jets. These changes provided the additional capabilities necessary to conduct ongoing training missions between the COANG and Slovenian Armed Forces as well as other NATO training exercises.

Maj Gen H. Michael Edwards, Adjutant General for Colorado, stated "The purpose here is not to support continuous operations but to be here in case of a contingency situation or to be able to do training exercises with our Slovenian partners. The facilities at the airport are amazing and the ability to support a contingency operation is coming together rapidly. The ability to support a fighter deployment and the ability to accept cargo aircraft is so important, not only for NATO, but for Slovenia too. It is about a reassurance that we will be here, it's about deterrence, making sure that there is recognition and an ability to operate in an area where there could be conflict."