by 2nd Lt. Katrina Cheesman
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
4/10/2014 - POWIDZ AIR BASE, Poland -- United
States Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrick X. Mordente, 86th Airlift Wing
commander at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, visited his sister wing, Polish
air force's 3rd Airlift Wing, for the first time during the U.S.
Aviation Detachment 14-2 rotation, April 3, 2014.
While touring base facilities and engaging with airmen from both
countries, Polish air force and U.S. Air Force leadership discussed the
importance of continuing to build partnership capacity and strengthen
bilateral defense ties with NATO allies.
"The relationship between our nations is absolutely critical," Mordente
said, discussing his wing's involvement during the aviation detachment
rotations. "It's incredible to simply come out and work one-on-one with
other airlifters, share the crafts of the trade and build friendships
and relationships at a wonderful place to train."
Leadership also discussed the rich history between Polish and U.S. air
forces during Mordente's visit. Before the 86th AW and 3rd AW officially
became sister wings in 2010 and the establishment of the Av-Det in
2012, both air forces traded techniques and tactics to better understand
each other's processes for future NATO operations.
"We have flown the C-130 for five years ... after only one year of
having the C-130 we went to Afghanistan, which is great to support that
NATO operation. We could go there safely because of the U.S. Airmen and
instructors," said Polish air force Lt. Col. Kyrsztof Szymaniec, 3rd AW
C-130E Hercules squadron commander. "This is the value of what we learn
from the U.S. and building that partnership. We didn't have to train for
10 years to get to this point."
During this training rotation, the Polish air force observed combat
grass-landings and joint precision air delivery system drops, which is a
system that guides supplies to predetermined landing zones.
"For me, it's a great honor to train with American pilots to learn about
new techniques, especially how to prepare tactical drop zones. I think
it's a good way to prepare for cooperation in future operations," said
Polish air force Col. Miroslaw Lusiarczyk, 33rd Air Base commander.
Polish and U.S. Air Force leadership pledged to continue supporting each
other as NATO allies. As he finished his visit here, Mordente reflected
on the U.S. relationship with the Polish armed forces.
"The neatest part about being stationed in Europe and partnering with
NATO allies is realizing how strong our military ties are to each other,
how much we rely on each other and how much we can leverage each
other's strengths," Mordente said. "It's a long, strong bond that will
endure for years to come."
The Av-Det has two more scheduled training rotations in this fiscal year.