BEG2IAH
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Serbian Pilots Visit Aviano Air Base

Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:02 am

http://belgrade.usembassy.gov/embassy/press/2006/b061212.html

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Fair use excerpt:

The Serbian delegation will be receiving a series of briefing and tours on the organization and operation of the 31st Fighter Wing and Aviano Air Base. This visit follows a successful visit by the Commander of the Serbian Air Force and Air Defense Command, Colonel Dragan Katanic, to the Ohio Air National Guard headquarters and its subordinate units in the United States during the week of December 3.

In addition, during the week of December 11, four Serbian Air Force pilots will be visiting Aviano Airbase as an introduction to U.S. Air Force (USAF) operations, training and organization methodologies. The Serbian pilots will have the opportunity to conduct air missions with pilots and aircraft of the 31st Fighter Wing, and will fly on 31st Wing F-16 aircraft. The three Serbian captains and one major, representing the 101st Fighter Squadron, 252nd Training Squadron, and 98th Air Base will be flying on two-seat F-16 training aircraft. The pilots will be flying multi-hour orientation sorties which will include training 2 on 4 air combat maneuvers and emergency egress.

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Some people in Serbia received this piece of news with mixed reactions. The 1999 bombing was initiated from this very air base. Nevertheless, it's nice to see that things are moving forward between USA and Serbia.

Serbian Air Force needs new planes. I know that five MiG29s will be checked and upgraded in Russia, but Serbia is thinking about introducing new types of fighters. Maybe F-16 is one of the good candidates.

Just for your information, NATO leaders invited Serbia on November 29 to join the Partnership for Peace program.

BEG2IAH
 
sylvcath
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RE: Serbian Pilots Visit Aviano Air Base

Wed Dec 13, 2006 3:05 pm

Quoting BEG2IAH (Thread starter):
Some people in Serbia received this piece of news with mixed reactions. The 1999 bombing was initiated from this very air base. Nevertheless, it's nice to see that things are moving forward between USA and Serbia.

Understandable sentiments; however, the conflict is over and it is time to move forward. It is good to see the USAF giving some direction to air arms like that of Serbia, which as you said, could definitely benefit from modernization.

Quoting BEG2IAH (Thread starter):
Just for your information, NATO leaders invited Serbia on November 29 to join the Partnership for Peace program.

I do think that this would be a step in the right direction for Serbia.
"sylvcath" = Sylvan Catharsis
 
777
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RE: Serbian Pilots Visit Aviano Air Base

Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:55 pm

Wow, I only hope that the "hero" that shot down an unarmed Italian AB-205 in January '97 killing all 5 onboard (4 Italian and 1 French) will not be among those 4 pilots.
 
BEG2IAH
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RE: Serbian Pilots Visit Aviano Air Base

Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:13 am

777,

Unfortunately, he is in prison as we speak.

Maj. Sisic was sentenced in Italy to 15 years in prison for shooting down a EU helicopter over Croatia on Jan. 7, 1992. The downing resulted in the death of five diplomats, but he followed the orders. When did you see a pilot shooting down other planes on his own or because he felt like shooting planes and choppers around? He was ordered to shoot that chopper down and he did it. Period! That helicopter was not authorized to be there in the first place. Croatia was "recognized" by Germany (and not UN) on January 15, 1992, so this was still a part of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and maj. Sisic was a pilot in Yugoslav Air Force. Those EU diplomats flew at their own risk although they were not allowed to fly. They were denied permission to fly in from Hungary, but they did. They were shot in a no-fly zone.

If there is anyone responsible for this downing was someone up the chain of command, and not a pilot of MiG21 who just executed the order. Maj. Sisic has cancer and the way Italy treated him was not something to be proud of. Italy needed a scapegoat. What happened to that American pilot (Capt Richard J Ashby) who killed 20 people when his jet struck ski lift's cable in Italy (near Cavalese)? This is what Americans did, and it's a shame:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...1A96F958260&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

What did Italy do, since he didn't spend even six months in prison for killing 20 civilians? Italy was brave to charge a pilot who was ordered to shoot to 15 years in prison. But I guess it's easier to be brave in front of a small player. Why weren't you so brave in this Capt Richard J Ashby case?

Let's talk some facts, and not spread media misinformation.

BEG2IAH

P.S. Maj. Sisic was transferred from Italian prison to a Serbian prison on November 2, 2006.

[Edited 2006-12-13 20:27:24]

[Edited 2006-12-13 20:38:05]
 
sovietjet
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RE: Serbian Pilots Visit Aviano Air Base

Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:21 am

^^^Wow that is unfair. All he did was follow orders, civilians or not. The only people guilty in that situation are the people in the chopper. If the civilian planes were shot down during 9/11 would the pilots go to jail? Hypocrisy at its best.
 
PADSpot
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RE: Serbian Pilots Visit Aviano Air Base

Sun Dec 17, 2006 6:26 pm

Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 3):

It is not the fault of Italy, if the pilot wasn't punished "appropriately" by this US military court. I think here the problem is that the US do not accept any other jurisdiction than their own for their service members serving abroad.

Finally it was "manslaughter because of negligence in a case of extreme gravity". As Italy as most European countries does not apply multiple penalties for multiple victims, it would have been maybe 5-10 years in prison if Mr Ashby would have stood in front of an Italian court.
 
BEG2IAH
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RE: Serbian Pilots Visit Aviano Air Base

Mon Dec 18, 2006 3:07 pm

Quoting PADSpot (Reply 5):
As Italy as most European countries does not apply multiple penalties for multiple victims, it would have been maybe 5-10 years in prison if Mr Ashby would have stood in front of an Italian court.

It "would have been" and "would have stood" but this will never happen because Italy was facing a far bigger player (US) than Serbia.

Italy was fast to condemn a pilot who was ordered to shoot down a helicopter that was flying in a no-fly zone without permission, but it never condemned a pilot who was screwing around and killed 20 skiers. I see a huge difference here.

Some people call this double standards, some call it "chicken" behavior. I would say it's both.

BEG2IAH
 
PADSpot
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RE: Serbian Pilots Visit Aviano Air Base

Mon Dec 18, 2006 4:20 pm

Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 6):

Italy was fast to condemn a pilot who was ordered to shoot down a helicopter that was flying in a no-fly zone without permission, but it never condemned a pilot who was screwing around and killed 20 skiers. I see a huge difference here.

Some people call this double standards, some call it "chicken" behavior. I would say it's both.

I am sure Italy "condemned" the pilot and his behavior as soon as it became obvious that he had the responsibility for what happen. But things are not as simple as you suggest.

Since the end of the Cold War the US have deployment contracts with each country where US soldiers are regularly stationed during peace time, i.e. in Europe especially in the UK, Germany and Italy. These clearly state that US service members, although they naturally have to abide local law, are not subject to local jurisdiction. That's it. There was no legal way for Italy to bring this Pilot to an Italian court.

This is different for former Yugoslavian states though. But don't get me wrong: Of course it is not fair to bring a former soldier into prison for what he has done as soldier and received orders for. From a legal stand point this helicopter violated and intruded Yugoslav air space. That bears the risk to be shot down, no matter what his intentions were ...
 
BEG2IAH
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RE: Serbian Pilots Visit Aviano Air Base

Tue Dec 19, 2006 3:42 am

PADSpot,

Thanks for this nice reply.

BEG2IAH
 
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TripleDelta
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RE: Serbian Pilots Visit Aviano Air Base

Sun Dec 24, 2006 6:10 pm

Quoting Sylvcath (Reply 1):
Understandable sentiments; however, the conflict is over and it is time to move forward.

Easier said then done.

Quoting BEG2IAH (Thread starter):
Serbian Air Force needs new planes. I know that five MiG29s will be checked and upgraded in Russia, but Serbia is thinking about introducing new types of fighters. Maybe F-16 is one of the good candidates.

What about the -21s? Do the pilots get any regular flying, or does it depend on when the cash comes in? From our own experiences, these early MiGs are economic black holes to operate, especially the older versions (Serbia also has the R version right?).
No plane, no gain.
 
mig21umd
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RE: Serbian Pilots Visit Aviano Air Base

Sun Dec 24, 2006 7:10 pm

According to AirForce Monthly, Serbia has only one air worthy Mig-21. The 5 remaining Mig-29s are all awaiting an inspection by Russian specialist to see if they can be repaired and made airworthy again.
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you long to return
 
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TripleDelta
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RE: Serbian Pilots Visit Aviano Air Base

Sun Dec 24, 2006 8:09 pm

Quoting Mig21UMD (Reply 10):
According to AirForce Monthly, Serbia has only one air worthy Mig-21. The 5 remaining Mig-29s are all awaiting an inspection by Russian specialist to see if they can be repaired and made airworthy again.

Thanks! I always thought it was the other way around, more 21s than 29s. But, come to think of it, I haven't seen many pics of the 21(s) either...

View Large View Medium
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Photo © Pedja Stamenkovic
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Photo © Dejan Milinkovic


Does the article mention the rest of the airforce, in particular the Galebs and Jastrebs?
No plane, no gain.
 
mig21umd
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RE: Serbian Pilots Visit Aviano Air Base

Mon Dec 25, 2006 8:46 am

TripleDelta,

It is a big article so I’ll do my best. I will include some corrections from my previous comment.

There is only 1 Mig-21UM mongol (2 seater) airworthy and 2 Mig-21bis kept operational which are used for air policing duties. Sometimes more Mig-21bis become available dependant on financial and Jet fuel situation (Noted in the article that Fuel shortage with the Serbian air force is a huge problem. Due to lack of fuel some Pilots only fly 'a few hours' ) but is seems that the flight training squadron get priority where Galebs and super Galebs are kept operational for these duties.

'Soko Gazelles seldom fly' and a handful of Mi-8 are used for transport duties along with two An-26s. Helicopter pilots fly approx 30 hours per year.

Small number of NJ-22 Oraos operational but there is a large numbers of Super Galebs available some requiring only little maintenance to be airworthy again.

Two more Mig-21s are used for recce but these are 21M not 21R.

The Mig-29s last flew April 1, 2004.

Information from AirForce Monthly (February 2006) who visited Serbian Air Force earlier 2006.

This was the Yugoslavian Air Force (which became the Serbian Air Force when the first war broke out in the early 90s) in 1991.

Key 1 Squadron included 12 to 16 aircraft. sq = Squadron

1 Sq Mig-29 total 16
6 fighter sq of Mig-21 (approx 72 aircraft)
11 fighter bomber sq of J-22 Oraors, Super Galebs G-4s, J-21 Jastrebs. (approx 154 aircraft)
4 recce sq flying Mig 21R, IJ-22 Oras IJ-21 Jastrebs. (approx 48 aircraft)
4 anti tank heli sq flying Gazells (approx 50 heli)
1 ASW heli unit flying Kamov Ka-25 Ka-28 Mi-14.
3 transport sq flying An-2, An-26, Do-28Ds, Yak-40s, Learjet-25Bs and Falcon 50
5 Heli Sq flying Mi-8 and Gazells (60 to 70 Helis)
single sq looked after the Utva-75s for initial training.
1 fire fighting sq.

What a huge difference 15 years 4 wars (one v Nato) can make.

Sretan Bozic! (Merry Christmas)
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you long to return
 
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TripleDelta
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RE: Serbian Pilots Visit Aviano Air Base

Mon Dec 25, 2006 5:01 pm

Thanks for the effort and Sretan Bozic to you too!

Probably the diversity of the force is what gives the airforce trouble also - quite a few types, but all in lower numbers requiring full maintenance for all of them.

But also, judging by the shots in the db, the An-26(s) apparently get more flying than the rest, they're frequently at airshows (Brno, Archangel 2005, Malta and such). Our own An-32s pretty much fall into this same category, though they have quite a few "domestic" flights also. Mi-8 and An-32 crews get the most flying here.
No plane, no gain.
 
mig21umd
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RE: Serbian Pilots Visit Aviano Air Base

Tue Dec 26, 2006 11:04 am

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 13):
Thanks for the effort and Sretan Bozic to you too!

Probably the diversity of the force is what gives the airforce trouble also - quite a few types, but all in lower numbers requiring full maintenance for all of them.

But also, judging by the shots in the db, the An-26(s) apparently get more flying than the rest, they're frequently at airshows (Brno, Archangel 2005, Malta and such). Our own An-32s pretty much fall into this same category, though they have quite a few "domestic" flights also. Mi-8 and An-32 crews get the most flying here.

The article does mention that the transport squadron is by far the most active.
A few months back AirForce monthly (top magazine btw) did a story on the Croatian air force during the war which included some very interesting pictures. I will do a post a little later about it. Right now I’m going to the beach!
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you long to return
 
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TripleDelta
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RE: Serbian Pilots Visit Aviano Air Base

Tue Dec 26, 2006 9:30 pm

Quoting Mig21UMD (Reply 14):
A few months back AirForce monthly (top magazine btw) did a story on the Croatian air force during the war which included some very interesting pictures. I will do a post a little later about it. Right now I’m going to the beach!

Yeah, I know, have that issue (a souvenir from a trip to the UK). Unfortunately, they don't have pics of Cessna A188s in camo schemes with bomb racks under the wings, much like the Dromader in the article. They were fitted with an old Soviet bombsight and some small bombs, mostly do-it-yourself stuff... improvisation galore. I think some of these machines are still airworthy, or at any rate stored in various hangars.

Though the torpedo-carrying Mi-24 is certainly interesting too.
No plane, no gain.
 
mig21umd
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RE: Serbian Pilots Visit Aviano Air Base

Wed Dec 27, 2006 9:32 pm

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 15):
Though the torpedo-carrying Mi-24 is certainly interesting too

True! I found the AEW (Airborne early warning) AN-2 most interesting. I had no idea Croatia had this platform. Looked like a very interesting Croatian project.
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you long to return
 
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TripleDelta
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RE: Serbian Pilots Visit Aviano Air Base

Thu Dec 28, 2006 12:17 am

Quoting Mig21UMD (Reply 16):
True! I found the AEW (Airborne early warning) AN-2 most interesting. I had no idea Croatia had this platform. Looked like a very interesting Croatian project.

The good ol' Anushka - AWACS, transport, troop-carrier, bomber, trainer... you name it, it'll fly it.
No plane, no gain.

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