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AFRC, 307th Bomb Wing strengthen ties in Europe

Photo of people cutting cake with a sword.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, commander of Air Force Reserve Command, Czech Republic Air Force Maj. Gen. Petr Mikulenka, Czech Air Force commander, U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Daryl L. Bohac, Nebraska National Guard adjutant general, and Staff Sgt. Todd Bevan, 307th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron B-52 Stratofortress crew chief, celebrate the Air Force's birthday Sept. 18, 2021 in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The celebration was held during NATO Days 2021, an annual airshow highlighting the military capabilities of NATO partners. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

Photo of people cutting cake with a sword.

U.S. Air Force Col. David Anderson, 307th Operations Group commander, answers questions from an elementary student, Sept. 17, 2021 in Ostrava, Czech Republic. 307th Bomb Wing members, in the country for NATO Days 2021, fanned out across the Moravian-Silesian region to meet with local citizens. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

Photo of people cutting cake with a sword.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Chris Chandler, 307th Operations Group director of operations, visits with elementary school students in Slavičín, Czech Republic, Sept. 16, 2021. Several Reserve Citizen Airmen toured the school and answered questions from the students while in the country for NATO Days 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

Photo of people cutting cake with a sword.

Members of the 307th Bomb Wing, the 147th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, and local civic leaders honor the memory of U.S. soldiers from Mission 263 during a ceremony in Slavicin, Czech Republic, Sept. 16, 2021. The 2nd Bomb Group, now the 2nd Bomb Wing, lost 100 personnel from the mission during an intense air battle with Nazi fighters in World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

Photo of people cutting cake with a sword.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Andrew Marshall, 345th Bomb Squadron commander, Lt. Col. Chris Chandler, 307th Operations Group director of operations, and Maj. Kerry Baker, 93rd BS weapons systems officer instructor, speak to high school students at the Secondary School of Hospitality and Services and Higher Vocational School in Opava, Czech Republic, Sept. 16, 2021. The 307th BW took part in NATO Days 2021 and visited several area schools. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

Photo of people cutting cake with a sword.

U.S. Air Force Col. Steven Kirkpatrick, 307th Bomb Wing commander, speaks at a World War II memorial in Šanov, Czech Republic, Sept. 16, 2021. The area is the site of a B-17 that crashed during World War II after an air battle with Nazi fighter planes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

Photo of people cutting cake with a sword.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, commander of Air Force Reserve Command and Chief Master Sgt. Timothy White, Jr., AFRC command chief, speak with 345th Bomb Squadron commander, Lt. Col. Andrew Marshall at NATO Days 2021, Sept. 18, 2021 in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The annual air show highlights the military capabilities of all NATO partners and draws spectators from around the world. Lt. Gen. Scobee and Chief Master Sgt. White visited with all AFRC units taking part in NATO Days 2021.(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

Photo of people cutting cake with a sword.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Richard W. Scobee, commander of Air Force Reserve Command, accepted the Czech and Slovak Transatlantic Award during the NATO Days Gala Dinner held Sept. 17, 2021 in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Gen. Scobee earned the annual award for his efforts to promote the U.S. Air Force Reserve's international footprint and his ongoing cooperation with the Czech Republic and Slovakia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --

Air Force Reserve Command leadership and members of the 307th Bomb Wing took part in NATO Days activities in the Czech Republic from Sept. 14-20.

NATO Days, an annual airshow highlighting member states' military capabilities, draws patrons from around the globe.

Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, AFRC commander, accepted the Czech and Slovak Transatlantic Award during the NATO Days Gala Dinner held Friday, Sept. 17.  Event organizers cited Scobee's efforts to promote AFRC's international role and his cooperation with the Czech Republic and Slovakia as the reasons for the award.

"Our friendship with the Czech Republic and Slovakia has created a stronger NATO Alliance and increased our interoperability," said Scobee during his acceptance speech.  

He also took part in other events at the airshow, visiting with Reserve Citizen Airmen and taking part in a cake-cutting ceremony for the U.S. Air Force's 74th birthday.

Members of the 307th BW stayed busy as well, taking part in several community engagements. They held question and answer sessions at several schools and other public venues and participated in the airshow.

They also joined with local civic leaders in a memorial ceremony for members of Mission 263, an ill-fated U.S. combat effort over Czechoslovakia during World War II.  Nazi fighters shot down nine B-17's from the 2nd Bomb Group, now the 2nd Bomb Wing, during the air battle. Unit losses included 57 captured and 40 killed.  

Col. Steven Kirkpatrick, 307th Bomb Wing commander, thanked the people of the Czech Republic for their role in helping some of the downed aircrew evade capture by Nazi search teams.

"The courage shown by the local people planted the seeds of friendship that still endures," he said. "We are continually grateful for the ongoing efforts of the Czech people to honor the memories of those who died."

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of NATO Days. The 307th Bomb Wing has participated for more than a decade, only missing last year due to COVID-19 travel restrictions in Europe.