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September 2, 2015

US deploys aircraft and crew to conduct training events with Poland

The US Air Force (USAF) has deployed four F-16 Fighting Falcons, two F-22 Raptors and a C-130 Hercules to Poland for separate flying training events.

By Samseer M

F-22 Raptor

The US Air Force (USAF) has deployed four F-16 Fighting Falcons, two F-22 Raptors and a C-130 Hercules to Poland for separate flying training events.

The training events are aimed at demonstrating the US commitment to the collective security of Nato and the enduring peace and stability of the region.

3rd Air Force and 17th Expeditionary Air Force vice commander major general Christopher Bence said: "Our friendship and partnership as allies through Nato afford us the ability to train every day as we improve the interoperability between all of our forces."

The F-16s, from the 480th Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base (AB), Germany, will participate in the aviation detachment rotation 15-4. The additional F-16s are from Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 176th Fighter Squadron.

The new rotation will focus on maintaining joint readiness and building interoperability capabilities between the Polish and US air forces.

Since 2011, the aviation detachment at Lask Air Base hosted rotations of F-16s, A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, KC-135 Stratotankers and C-130s from deployed active-duty, Guard, and Reserve units to perform bilateral training with the Polish Air Force.

Funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, the forward deployment of the Raptors to Spangdahlem AB serves as part of the inaugural F-22 training deployment to Europe.

"Our friendship and partnership as allies through Nato afford us the ability to train every day as we improve the interoperability between all of our forces."

According to Bence, the 95th FS Airmen will continue to train side by side with allies to demonstrate how the US Air Force can operate a fifth-generation fighter in Europe.

Bence added: "We continually rotate US forces from the US into Europe, and this is a part of the training rotation.

"We look forward to continue to prove that fifth-generation aircraft can operate in Europe as we set the foundation for the future of the F-35(A Lightning II) coming to Europe in just the next few years."

Recently, the USAF deployed eight A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and around 170 airmen to Ämari Air Base, Estonia, as part of the country’s effort to support Operation Atlantic Resolve.


Image: An F-22 Raptor flies over the flightline at Lask Air Base, Poland. Photo: courtesy of U.S. Air Force photo / Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden.

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