Ramstein Airmen arrive in Poland for bilateral training

Story and photos by
Senior Airman Joshua Magbanua
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

A U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron drops a supply bundle onto a field at Powidz Air Base, Poland, July 31, during Aviation Detachment Rotation 18-4. The exercise is a bilateral training event between the U.S. and Polish armed forces that involves tactical airlift scenarios. — Photo by Senior Airman Kirsten Brandes

POWIDZ AIR BASE, PolandAp­proxi­mately 100 U.S. Airmen and three C-130J Super Hercules aircraft arrived in Poland, July 30, for a bilateral exercise with the Polish air force.

The aircraft and Airmen are assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing and 435th Air Ground Operations Wing.

U.S. Army Soldiers from the 5th Quarter Master are also participating in the exercise.

The training exercise, known as Aviation Detachment Rotation 18-4, ensures the capability and readiness of U.S. and Polish forces in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve – ensuring a faster response in the event of aggression by a regional adversary.

U.S. Airmen from the 435th Contingency Response Group establish a landing zone on a grass field for the C-130J Super Hercules to practice landing in an austere environment as part of an exercise on Powidz Air Base, Poland, July 31. Approximately 100 Airmen and three aircraft arrived in Poland to conduct bilateral exercises with the Polish air force.

“This mission gives our aircrew time to practice and train with our Polish allies in advanced tactical airlift scenarios,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Zackery Williams, 37th Airlift Squadron C-130J Instructor Pilot and Aviation Detachment Rotation 18-4 Mission Commander. “Should we ever find ourselves in a real-world conflict, we’ll be ready to move out together.”

These training deployments and readiness exercises occur across allied nations in Europe. The 86th AW aircraft and Airmen have participated in these aviation detachment rotations in Poland since 2012.

“We remain committed to our Polish partners,” Williams said. “These rotations validate our interoperability as we continue to face emerging and evolving strategic challenges together as NATO allies.” Williams concluded by saying the team is looking forward to working with their Polish counterparts over the next couple weeks.