The 122nd Fighter Wing from the Indiana Air National Guard has deployed eight A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and about 140 airmen to Slia? Air Base, Slovakia, for a month-long combined training event in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
The airmen will conduct training and familiarization events alongside Slovak Armed Forces, a NATO ally. In addition, they will also participate in cross-border training with other deployed U.S. Air Force and NATO aircraft in the region. As part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, this deployment continues to demonstrate America’s commitment to its allies and deterrence efforts against Russia.
The 163rd Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, part of the 122nd FW, will fly with the Slovak Air Force to demonstrate close air support capabilities and conduct familiarization classroom events to further integrate the two air forces. The classroom events include safety procedures, further air combat maneuver discussions and air surveillance techniques. The unit will also participate in cross-border flights with deployed U.S. Air Force total force partners flying F-16 Fighting Falcons, KC-135 Stratotankers, C-130 Hercules and other aircraft from allied nations.
This is the first deployment of the 163rd EFS to Slia? Air Base. However, Indiana, where the 122nd FW is stationed, has held a robust state partnership with Slovakia since 1993. The State Partnership Program has been successfully building relationships for over 20 years that includes 70 unique security partnerships involving 76 nations around the globe. SPP links a unique component of the Defense Department, a state’s National Guard, with the armed forces or equivalent of a partner country in a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship.
These rotation forces are the cornerstone for increasing U.S. military combat capabilities, which are essential to fulfilling the nation’s European security obligations. These deployments reinforce the U.S. commitment to NATO during an unpredictable and uncertain time.
The deployed airmen have been through extensive preparation, ranging from cultural awareness to weapons qualification and medical training. These Airmen will carry out the same job overseas that they’ve been trained on each month as 122nd FW guardsmen.