Defense

November 9, 2012

Air Force establishes full-time presence in Poland

U.S. officials praised the long-standing relationship with Poland as they celebrated the first full-time U.S. military presence in that nation Nov. 8.

During a ceremony at Lask Air Base, located about 100 miles southwest of Warsaw, U.S. Air Force personnel flew the American flag, marking the establishment of a small unit dedicated to supporting multi-national aviation training and exercises. The ten personnel of the detachment will be joined by up to 200 visiting airmen conducting quarterly training rotations.

U.S. Ambassador to Poland Stephen D. Mull and Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis, the commander of U.S. European Command and NATO’s supreme allied commander, were joined at the ceremony by Poland’s Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak, Chief of Staff Army Gen. Mieczyslaw Cieniuch and Air Force Commander Gen. Lech Majewski.

The arrival of the 10-man team at the base represents “a new kind of U.S. ‘boots on the ground’ here in Poland,” said Derek Chollet, the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. Chollet represented Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta at the ceremony.

“The alliance between the United States and Poland is rooted in shared history, shared values and deep ties among our people, cemented through NATO and the ironclad commitment to Article 5,” Chollet said. “The Polish people have been our partners for over two centuries, and since joining the NATO alliance in 1999, your troops have been shoulder-to-shoulder with ours in the Balkans, in Iraq and in Afghanistan.”

The personnel in Lask will provide continuity for U.S. personnel rotating in and out of Poland, defense officials said. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon and C-130 Hercules units will form the core of the U.S. presence. The personnel at the detachment will report to the 52nd Fighter Wing, based at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.

President Barack Obama and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk agreed to the U.S. presence in Lask during the president’s visit to Poland last year. The detachment will make it easier for U.S. and Polish airmen to increase their interoperability and will enhance military-to-military ties at all levels, defense officials said.

The presence will also facilitate bilateral and, officials hope, multinational joint training exercises. Poland has extensive ranges and its airspace is far more open than countries farther west. Officials also hope this will allow both militaries to deepen already strong partnerships.

“I am truly proud of the way our defense cooperation has focused on looking to the future to ensure we are prepared for the threats and challenges our countries will face,” Chollet said. “As we move together into the future, we expect more U.S. boots to follow as we establish a NATO ballistic missile interceptor site at Redzikowo in 2018.”

The U.S. aviation detachment “also sends a clear message to allies and partners that the U.S. remains committed to European defense and to the principle that we are indeed ‘stronger together,'” Chollet said.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards

ANG conducts air refueling training with NATO allies in Germany

Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Annie Edwards A NATO E-3A AWACS aircraft approaches a Utah Air National Guard KC-135R Stratotanker for air refueling during a training flight over Germany on Jan. 13, 2015. Nearly 30 airme...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Armando A. Schwier-Morales

Ramstein Airmen train with French air force

Air Force photograph by SrA. Armando A. Schwier-Morales Two U.S. Air Force pilots and a French air force navigator discuss the route to the drop zone during a simulated low-level drop Jan. 21, 2015, at Orleans – Bricy Air...
 
 

Marines receive first F-35C Lightning II carrier variant

The first F-35C Lightning II, carrier variant, for the U.S. Marine Corps touched-down on the flight line at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 13, from the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas, to begin training in support of carrier-based operations. U.S. Marine Lt. Col. J.T. Ryan, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 501 detachment commander...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald

40 years of Red Flag at Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald A flight of F-15 Eagles and F-16 Fighting Falcons Aggressors fly in formation over the Nevada Test and Training Ranges June 5, 2008. The proposal for Red Flag came in early...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Navy gears up to order production of 29 aircraft diagnostic systems

Lockheed Martin photograph Petty Officers Third Class Ira Schwartz assigned to Fleet Readiness Center Southeast at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., left, and Devin Riley from Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic at Naval Ai...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

96th Test Group brings ‘R2-D2′ to life

Courtesy photograph A Rear Cockpit Pallet is mounted in the back of a T-38 Talon Jan. 13, 2015 at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. The project to build the RCP began from a need to design a platform that could serve to perform hig...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>