On Wednesday, 23 September, two tiltrotor military aircraft vehicles of the US special operation forces buzzed over the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, making their way along the Dnipro river. At the same time, Lockheed MC-130J Commando II aircraft flew over Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro, Poltava, and Cherkasy, and B-52H bombers entered Ukrainian airspace for joint training.
Dozens of Kyivans came to observe the flight:
Ще трохи американських десантних Оспреїв над Дніпром у Києві 🙂 pic.twitter.com/goBJR4unoO
— Радіо Свобода (@radiosvoboda) September 23, 2020
This is the first time that these aircraft are supporting a Ukrainian Army training course, which concerns preparing for special operations with the integration of air and ground forces, signaling strengthened military support for Ukraine, which is entrenched in its sixth year of frozen conflict with neighboring Russia.
Today at 12:30, near the Friendship Arch and along the Dnipro River in Kyiv, come wave at the #CV22B flyover!
— U.S. Embassy Kyiv (@USEmbassyKyiv) September 23, 2020
The aircraft is taking part in joint US-Ukrainian exercises called Fiction Urchin, which featured static and free-fall parachute training. The exercises are being held from September 17 to 24.
The CV-22 Ospreys are a tiltrotor military aircraft that takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter, and once airborne, can convert to a turboprop airplane capable of high-speed and high-altitude flight. And the Lockheed MC-130J is a special forces aircraft used to refuel helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft, and can also perform airdrops and landings on remote airfields.
CV-22 Ospreys over Kyiv. Photos: Yevhen Kotenko, Ukrinform
A pair of US Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bombers also flew in Ukrainian airspace that day, as announced by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. They were escorted by Ukrainian Su-27 and MiG-29 fighter jets.
The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, aka “Stratospheric fortress” is a long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber capable of flying at altitudes up to 15 km and carrying nuclear warheads.
“American pilots, in concert with Ukrainian fighter jets, establish opportunities for collective defense and provide the United States, NATO, and key alliance partners strategic and operational capabilities to deter the aggressor country. Ukraine’s American partners once again demonstrate the full support of our state in the international security arena,” the Ministry of Defense wrote.
Earlier this week, the CV-22 Ospreys took part in trainings near Berdychiv:
.@USAirForce CV-22 Ospreys assigned to the 352d Special Operations Wing, Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, conducted a fast rope insertion and extraction system training with Ukraine Special Operations Forces and U.S. Army Special Forces near Berdychiv, September 20, 2020. pic.twitter.com/MCdtyVZWMi
— U.S. Embassy Kyiv (@USEmbassyKyiv) September 21, 2020
Read more about the aircraft and operations at Nolan Peterson’s article on Coffee or Die.
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