Military News

Thursday, April 10, 2014

US-Polish sister wings unite during training

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.

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