Mission complete: Aviation Rotation 19-3 concludes


Story and photos by
Staff Sgt. Jimmie D. Pike
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron performs evasive maneuvers after deploying flares during an Aviation Rotation 19-3 training flight over Powidz Air Base, Poland, July 18. Training events during the exercise consisted of low-level tactical flying, formation flights, and air drops to keep pilots trained and ready.

POWIDZ AIR BASE, Poland — U.S. and Polish forces concluded the two-week Aviation Rotation 19-3 at Powidz Air Base, Poland, July 23.
The quarterly rotations are bilateral training exercises aimed at enhancing partnership interoperability and joint readiness. More than 80 U.S. Airmen assigned to Ramstein Air Base, and a few Soldiers from the 5th Quartermaster Theater Delivery Company worked together to complete exercise objectives.
“For the last two weeks, we have been flying about four or five sorties a day,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Leland Quinter, 37th Airlift Squadron pilot and AvRot 19-3 mission commander. “Our training events included low-level tactical flying, formation flights, combat offloads, air drops, and more.”

Polish paratroopers jump from U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft over a drop zone in Poland, July 22. The U.S. and Poland worked on interoperability during Aviation Rotation 19-3, a bilateral exercise aimed at improving partnership capacity, by performing aerial operations over Poland.

During operations, personnel participating in the exercise were able to learn and try things for the first time, such as landing on grass.
“Grass landing zones aren’t a new thing for pilots per se, but for some of the pilots it may be their first time,” said Quinter. “Something the loadmasters were able to experience was the low-cost low-altitude air drops.”
According to Quinter, all of the training events during the exercise were not completed without a few challenges. “One of the largest challenges we faced was airspace because there were multiple exercises going on in the area,” said Quinter. “The key to completing our objectives was to communicate with the Polish military and other agencies to deconflict when necessary.”
By working together to overcome challenges and meet requirements, the bond between Poland and the U.S. continues to grow.


U.S. Air Force Capt. Jacob Kopp, 435th Contingency Response Squadron landing zone safety officer, watches U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules flying over a landing zone at Powidz Air Base, Poland. During Aviation Rotation 19-3, a bilateral exercise between U.S. and Poland, landing and drop zones were prepared by members of the 435th CRS to allow pilots a diverse training opportunity.
U.S. Airmen assigned to Ramstein Air Base and members of the Polish military conclude Aviation Rotation 19-3 at Powidz Air Base, Poland, July 23. During the bilateral training exercise, the U.S. and Poland worked on aerial operations and tactics to improve joint readiness.