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By David Cenciotti
Major General Rumen Radev, who was the Bulgarian Air Force Commander until August 1, 2016, has been elected President of Bulgaria.
On Nov. 13, Rumen Radev, nominated by an initiative committee and supported by the Bulgarian Socialist Party, has been elected president of Bulgaria with little over 58 percent of the votes. His rival – Tsetska Tsacheva, nominated by the ruling GERB party, won a little over 35 percent of the votes according to Radio Bulgaria.
A fighter pilot in the Bulgarian Air Force, he has served as Air Force Commander until Aug. 1, 2016, when he resigned as a sign of disagreement with the national strategy according to which Bulgaria’s airspace would be policed by air forces of another country.
Here’s his flight experience:
1987 – 1988: junior pilot in the 15th Fighter Aviation Regiment – Ravnets
1989 – 1990: unit deputy commander at the 15th Fighter Aviation Regiment – Ravnets
1990 – 1994: unit commander at the 15th Fighter Aviation Regiment – Ravnets
1996 – 1998: MiG-29 squadron commander at the Fifth fighter airbase – Ravnets
1998 – 1999: deputy commander for flight preparation at the Fifth fighter airbase – Ravnets
1999 – 2000: deputy commander for flight training at the Third fighter airbase – Graf Ignatievo
2000 – Study of the Air defence of the Republic of Bulgaria – NATO, Brussels
2000 – 2002: Chief of Staff of the Third fighter airbase – Graf Ignatievo
2003 – 2005: Chief of Staff of the Third Fighter Airbase – Graf Ignatievo
2005 – 2009: commander of the Third Fighter Airbase – Graf Ignatievo
2009 – 2014: Bulgarian Air Force deputy commander
2014 – 2016: Bulgarian Air Force commander
Despite being a high-rank officer Radev was an active MiG-29 pilot who regularly flew the Fulcrum.
For instance, on Oct. 11, 2014, when the Bulgarian Air Force celebrated its 102nd anniversary (Oct. 16) with an air show at Sofia, Radev, Commander of the BuAF flew a stunning display piloting the Bulgarian Air Force MiG-29 and performing a low altitude “Cobra” followed by two tail slides.
Here below you can have a look at the whole stunning performance by the then 51 year Maj. General Rumen Radev, the new president-elect of Bulgaria.