33rd Air Base, POLAND — Two weeks ago, approximately 100 Airmen departed Ramstein Air Base, Germany before landing at the 33rd Air Base near Powidz, Poland Oct. 19.
On Oct. 24, Germany’s Robert Koch Institute designated the entire country of Poland as a COVID-19 high-risk area, subjecting it to renewed COVID-19 restrictions.
This year’s iteration of ADR came to a close on Oct. 31. Despite the country’s high-risk status, the training event was a success on two equally important fronts: force health protection and training.
“As a result of following the guidelines we were given we had no positive COVID patients,” said Dr. Joe Abrams, 37th Airlift Squadron flight surgeon. “Overall health and wellness fared better than any other FTD I’ve been a part of in the last two years.”
With careful consideration, proactive steps were taken to ensure all Airmen followed force health protection, Department of Defense, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and host nation guidance to avoid contracting or spreading respiratory illnesses like the flu or COVID-19.
Throughout the forward training deployment, Airmen falling under seven different agencies operated under this guidance. Every training event incorporated integrated prevention and protection measures to mitigate undue risk of exposure.
The abundance of caution taken throughout ADR can be explained by one simple fact: deterrence will not be sacrificed in light of the pandemic. Continued training with the Polish air force allows the United States and its allies to respond to threats and support global operations.
As far as training achievements go, the list is long as it is noteworthy for this year’s ADR:
- Approximately 150 hours flown with more than 2,250 aircrew training requirements accomplished
- 51 sorties executed, 98% mission success rate
- 36 Low-Cost Low-Altitude airdrops
- 31 passes on unimproved fields certifying six pilots, removing two pilots from annual waivers, and met 13 annual currency requirements. The training satisfied nearly 33 percent of 37th AS annual requirements.
This Polish ADR specifically enabled training for the U.S. Air Force and Polish crews to engage in formation flights of up to five aircraft, practice fighter engagements and unimproved airfield landing training.
“Due to our outstanding maintenance record and cooperative weather during this exercise we were able to accomplish all of the intended training quickly which gave us the flexibility to fully engage with our tactics and intel teams to execute non-standard and complex tactical scenarios,” said Maj. Kyle Guathier, 37th AS pilot and ADR detachment commander.
On Oct. 31, three C-130J Super Hercules aircraft assigned to RAB flew the approximately 100 Airmen who participated in the Polish ADR back to Ramstein following the exercise’s conclusion.
Despite COVID-19, this FTD was a successful one. The Airmen who participated in this exercise have only themselves to thank after abiding by the force health protection guidelines.
This discipline allowed Airmen from Ramstein to accomplish thousands of training tasks while enhancing interoperability with NATO allies.