Approximately 200 airmen and support personnel from the 31st Fighter Wing have arrived at the US Air Force’s (USAF) Aviation Detachment (AvDet) in Poland, to participate in a joint training exercise with the Polish Air Force.
Scheduled to be conducted over the next several days at Lask Air Base, the offsite bi-lateral training exercise involves 12 555th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, demonstrating the US’s commitment to joint defence responsibilities under Nato’s objectives.
555th Fighter Squadron commander lieutenant colonel John Peterson said one of the exercise’s objectives is to develop bonds so as to enable personnel to take action in a real-world environment if something happens.
"Unless you figure out how to work together at a tactical level–from the squadron commander to the junior airman turning wrenches–you lose out on the opportunity to know each other’s strengths and develop your weaknesses," Peterson said.
Established in November 2012, the Aviation Detachment comprises a small team of US airmen, and allows for hosting of multiple allied air force elements, as well serving as a regional hub for air training and multi-national exercises.
US Air Force Aviation Detachment commander major Matthew Spears said the objectives for the off site training are in accordance with AvDet’s original intent, which is to remain ready to operate across a range of military operations with precise, full-spectrum capability.
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"With the arrival of the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the C-130 Hercules in Poland we have seen a strengthening in our partnership between the US and Poland, which is in line with making us interoperable," Spears said.
In addition to this, the detachment facilitates and enables combined US and Polish training and exercises to boost air support to Nato.