USAF’s A-10 aircraft perform specialised training in Poland

23 July 2015 (Last Updated July 23rd, 2015 18:30)

Members of the US Air Force's (USAF) 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron (354th EFS) and 321st Special Tactics Squadron (321st STS) have performed specialised training in Nowe Miasto, Poland.

A-10

Members of the US Air Force's (USAF) 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron (354th EFS) and 321st Special Tactics Squadron (321st STS) have performed specialised training in Nowe Miasto, Poland.

During the day and night mission, the 354th EFS's A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft pilots conducted unimproved surface landings on an austere landing strip.

An unimproved surface could likely be dirt, grass, sand, or any other type of rugged terrain.

The landing strip was set-up by 321st STS combat controllers to simulate conditions of a deployed environment.

354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron commander USAF lieutenant colonel Ryan Hayde said: "The training we are getting here with our pilots will allow us to forward deploy even further than we already can.

"In a real-life scenario, combat controllers and pilots with austere landing capabilities could land aircraft anywhere in enemy territory without leaving a large footprint.

"We started with just two pilots in the entire squadron qualified and now we have an extra ten qualified."

The training was undertaken at an old runway that consisted of cracked, uneven asphalt and was previously only conquered by a few.

"In a real-life scenario, combat controllers and pilots with austere landing capabilities could land aircraft anywhere in enemy territory without leaving a large footprint."

The 354th EFS A-10 pilots in training form a part of the first European Theatre Security Package in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, and are currently operating out of Lask Air Base, Poland, working together with Nato allies.

According to Hayde, the TSP aims to reassure Nato allies, and the squadron has fulfilled its duties by providing micro deployments where four A-10s are being taken at a time to multiple countries.

Hayde said: "This is the final evolution of that. Now we are taking our entire squadron and putting them on an old runway in the middle of nowhere. We can land A-10s pretty much anywhere."

Operation Atlantic Resolve is a demonstration of continued US commitment to the collective security of Nato and to enduring peace and stability in the region, in the wake of Russia's role in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.


Image: A USAF's A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft takes off during an austere landing training exercise at Nowe Miasto, Poland. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo by airman 1st class Luke Kitterman/Released.