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1st Lt. Kiril Ginev is proud to be honored as the Bulgarian Air Force “2015 Young Airman.”  1st Lt Ginev is thankful for the leadership of the Commander of the Air Force, General Rumen Radev, who has initiated a specific training program to ensure that operational capabilities are increased.  The specific training objective ensures that the BuAF has trained personnel ready for military action at any time, in any conditions. Participants in the 2015 program included 1st Lt K. Ginev & 5 colleagues. 

Pilots fly out of the 3rd Air Base, Graf Ignatievo and train on the PC-9M and the L-39ZA to demonstrate proficiency in tactical interception, air reconnaissance, targeting with unguided bombs & rockets, gunfire, as well as defensive training against SAM threats such as the SA-6 & SA-3.

The Bulgarian Air Force is moving forward within fiscal guidelines to increase capabilities, and modernize its force.  After retiring the MIg-21 in 2015 the primary frontline aircraft are the Mig-29 and Su-25, with plans to move to western aircraft within the next number of years.  A member state of NATO, Bulgaria announced plans in 2015 to allow joint NATO air policing.  The commitment to move forward in this capacity must be supported with the development of dedicated Air Force professionals. 

1st Lt Ginev is honored to be recognized in 2015 and he and colleagues realize it is not only personal recognition but recognition of the entire BuAF support system of personnel that ensure aircraft readiness, mission planning, training and complete logistical support. The honor brings the responsibility to look back at accomplishments realized, and forward to more professional challenges as a role model within the BuAF.  The challenge and opportunity of a young person to become a competent fighter pilot is high, and success brings tremendous inner satisfaction that is difficult to put into words. The 1st Lt. admits the path is one that combines the drive of youth to succeed with the tension of achievement and skills mastery in a very demanding environment.

In this environment one not only experiences the exhilaration of flight with colleagues, but does so with a purpose to achieve specific tactical goals. Mission success recognizes the combination of flight and professional achievement and brings satisfaction that one has been worthy of the trust given by the trainers, and the Commander of the Air Force, General Radev. 

1st Lt Ginev is thankful for the leadership of the Air Force and the political leadership of Bulgaria that has committed to invest in people and equipment to improve the quality of the Air Force. We wish 1st Lt K. Ginev and his colleagues a long and meaningful career in the Bulgarian Air Force.

​Photo's supplied

1st Lt K. Ginev’s is congratulated by the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Boyko Borissov while the Minister of Defense, Nikolay Nemchev stands nearby.

1st Lt. Kiril Ginev BuAF receives congratulations from the Commander of the BuAF, General Rumen Radev.

Military Aviation Photojournalism