Commander of Bulgarian Air Force Withdraws Resignation After Talks with PM
Commander of the Bulgarian Air Force, Major General Rumen Radev, who had submitted his resignation earlier on Thursday, withdrew it after a conversation with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
Borisov familiarised himself with the problems of the Bulgarian Air Force, which were pointed as the motives behind the resignation of General Radev.
Among them are the insufficient number of fighter jets fit for conducting air policing missions and trainings, the decreasing number of prepared pilots and the inadequate number of flight hours.
According to Radev, this could result in heavy flying incidents, exhaustion, aging and the inability to prepare a young crews.
He also criticised the defence ministry for not fulfilling its commitment to conclude contracts on the repair and supply of the engines of the MiG-29 fighter jets within the specified deadlines.
Furthermore, the defence ministry has not tabled its proposal for the acquisition of a new fighter jet for discussion at the Council of Ministers.
In addition to these shortcomings, Radev noted that flights have been further limited in the recent months due to the lack of fuel.
The general said that his resignation was not politically motivated and that the main reason for his move was the lack of clear perspective for the air force and his inability as a commander to ensure the professional development and well-being of the pilots, engineers and technicians.
Borisov made a commitment that during the composition and adoption of the new government budget the funds allocated to the air force will be increased by BGN 80 M in order to meet the most pressing needs.
The two agreed that the general will devise a detailed account on the required funds which will be presented at the next meeting of the Council of Ministers.
Borisov and Radev expressed confidence that the increase in military spending will garner the required parliamentary support as the future of the Bulgarian Air Force represents a national cause.
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