NATO Military Exercise ‘Clear Sky’ Begins

Dozens of planes, helicopters, and thousands of servicemen from Ukraine and nine NATO countries are taking part in the Clear Sky 2018 international military exercises.

The aim of the drills is to improve cooperation between Ukraine and NATO, as well as to strengthen regional security in the face of Russian aggression

American pilot Tigger Swertfager flew for seven hours to take part in these multinational airborne exercises. This is his second time drilling in Ukraine.

“What we expect is a tremendous amount of interoperability between Ukraine, the US Air forces, and all the NATO partners that are participating in this,” the Air National Guard pilot from California said.

There are over 40 aircraft taking part in the drills, 10 of them, including fighter jets and military transport aviation are from the United States.

“It is very important because it allows us to improve our reach regional relationships by bringing NATO standards, NATO interoperability to the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” Commander of the California Air National Guard Clay Garrison said.

In total more than a thousand military personnel have gathered in the Khmelnytskyi and Vinnytsia regions. Only half of which are Ukrainian.

“In the course of the exercises, the militaries of Ukraine, the United States, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, and other countries will work on low-altitude flying, parachuting cargo, as well as cybersecurity,” Oleh Nechyporuk, the Commander of 456th Transport Aviation Brigade of the Ukrainian Air Forces said.

Surveillance functions at the exercises are to be performed by drones.

“Everything is controlled from the joint command center under the leadership of our officers and the colleagues from the USA. We took these drills from straight up aviation training to comprehensive control of action both on the ground and in the air,” the Deputy head of the Aviation Department of the Joint Comand Center Henadiy Sholudko said.

The active phase of the Clear Skies exercises will last for 10 days.