US, Polish air forces conduct Aviation Detachment Rotation 13-2 exercise
US and Polish Air Force personnel are conducting a joint theatre security cooperation event, code-named Aviation Detachment Rotation 13-2 (Av-Det), in an effort to enhance operational capabilities of F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots at Lask Air Base in Poland.
Hosted by the US Aviation Detachment 1, the two-week event involves participation from around 100 airmen assigned to the 115th Fighter Wing, and six F-16 fighters to work on a partnership-building opportunity with the Polish Air Force.
Marking the aviation detachment's first F-16 fighter rotation and second overall this year, the event will specifically boost skills of US and Polish F-16 pilots as they perform simulated air combat manoeuvres with other aircraft, including MiG-29 and Su-22 fighters.
115th FW 176th Fighter Squadron commander lieutenant colonel Brian Parker said the personnel are practising air combat manoeuvres, basic fighter manoeuvres and tactical intercept missions.
"It's a building block approach, so we'll start out with the basics and increase the tactics as we go through the two weeks; and then we'll go to doing individual ranges sets where we can see each other - kind of 'dog fighting','' Parker added.
Polish Air Force 32nd Tactical Air Base commander colonel Krystian Ziec said the joint training provides the two countries with an opportunity to strengthen interoperability as Nato allies.
Av-Det commander major Matthew Spears said the latest training differs from the first rotation in featuring a fighter asset, instead of an airlift asset, to train with the Polish Air Force.
''It's this type of training that takes place, having Airmen on the ground interacting day-in-and-day-out that really strengthens that partnership," Spears added.
The first unit that trained at the same base under the Av-Det was a C-130J Super Hercules unit based out of Ramstein Air Base, Germany, while the next rotation featuring an F-16 flying from Aviano Air Base, Italy, is scheduled to arrive in July.
Image: 115th Fighter Wing personnel arrive for Aviation Detachment Rotation 13-2 at Lask Air Base in Poland. Photo: US Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Kenya Shiloh.