Family and friends of Bangladesh Air Force personnel mill around
a US Marine Corps F/A-18C Hornet during an open house
on October 26, at Kurmitola Air Base, Bangladesh.
This past October 24 to 31 saw bilateral exercises take place between the US Marine Corps and the Bangladesh Air Force (BAF). Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 (VMFA-314), also known as the “Black Knights”, and several other detachments from Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, were among the participants.
“The purpose of this exercise is to practice and learn from each other,” said Wing Commander Rafik, the senior BAF officer in charge of the exercise, as he addressed officers from both countries on the opening day of the exercise. “We look forward to some good, safe flying.”
Exercise Sumo Tiger 2007, as it is called, is part of an ongoing effort by the US military to strengthen the security of Asia and the Pacific region. The goal is to enhance US forces’ ability to work alongside militaries throughout the region and to promote professional relationships between participants.
During the exercise, the Black Knights trained against Chinese-made F-7 Fantan jet fighters and Russian-built MiG-29 Fulcrums. Avation support personnel from the US and Bangladesh also shared their knowledge with one another.
On October 26, the exercise participants took a break from flying. Hundreds of family members and friends of BAF personnel visited Kurmitola Air Base to view an American F-18C Hornet and a Bangladeshi F-7