HunAF Gripen Pilots Training Not Affected By Pandemic

Hungarian Gripen pilots may have missed a few international exercises owing to the pandemic, but overall, their training exercises went almost as planned, reports

As with the rest of the world, the effect of the pandemic was also seen at the 59th Szentgyörgyi Dezső Aviation Base of the Hungarian Armed Forces. That is to say that various new measures and regulations were implemented for the safety of the pilots and the crew members. For example, the Gripen pilots were divided into three groups which followed a rotating work schedule: each shift lasting two weeks followed by another two weeks of rest at home. Health regulations, especially testing, were carried out rigorously to ensure maximum safety of the personnel.

"As a NATO-subordinated base, we protect not only the airspace of Hungary, but also the airspace of the alliance, so of course it was of paramount importance to protect our personnel against the spread of the virus," Brigadier General Csaba Ugrik, the commander of the base said.

According to General Ugrik, the two-month period did reduce the total flight time for the Hungarian Gripen pilots, but not that much. There were a few foreign exercises like NATO Tiger Meet (scheduled for May), which did not happen. But the annual training for the pilots went well.

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