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