With a shrill squeal, rubber met road as two C-130J Super Hercules’ touched down Aug. 14, at Powidz Air Base, Poland – their crews ready to begin a flying training deployment in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, or OAR.
Hailed as a demonstration of the U.S.ís ongoing commitment to the collective security of NATO allies and European partners, OAR allows Airmen deployed to Poland the opportunity to augment allied capability with the aim of designing and hosting a broad range of training opportunities.
“As representatives of the U.S. military in Poland we value the shared commitment and close cooperation with NATO partners on countering a range of regional and global threats,” said Lt. Col. Barry King II, the 37th Airlift Squadron detachment commander at Powidz AB. “Our continuing contributions to develop and improve air readiness are significant in maintaining security and building partnership capacity.”
In addition to building relationships, Airmen deployed from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, will spend the next few weeks conducting bilateral exercises with Poland and the neighboring Baltic States. They will hone their skills while practicing low-level flight training, touchdowns at unimproved landing zones, and airdrop training of both cargo and personnel.
“This training is absolutely invaluable toward maintaining joint readiness, building interoperability and strengthening relationships with NATO partners,” King said. “We are serving as the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa’s forward presence in this region. It is our goal to ensure both the United States and NATO know we can move forward quickly to support, and defend our allies.”
Demonstrating the “forward, ready, now” capabilities of Air Force Airmen and equipment is made possible through the application of regular combined training exercises.
“These exercises don’t simply strengthen our capabilities, they strengthen the bonds with our host nations,” King said. “They send a message that we are committed to a peaceful, stable and secure Europe.”