A-10s train with combat controllers during TSP

A 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft takes off in front of two 321st Special Tactics Squadron combat controllers during an austere landing training exercise at Nowe Miasto, Poland, July 20, 2015. The 321st STS combat controllers conducted ground air traffic control for the A-10 pilots during the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft takes off in front of two 321st Special Tactics Squadron combat controllers during an austere landing training exercise at Nowe Miasto, Poland, July 20, 2015. The 321st STS combat controllers conducted ground air traffic control for the A-10 pilots during the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A 321st Special Tactics Squadron combat controller gears up before the start of an austere landing training exercise at Nowe Miasto, Poland, July 20, 2015. The 321st STS is based out of RAF Mildenhall, England. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A 321st Special Tactics Squadron combat controller gears up before the start of an austere landing training exercise at Nowe Miasto, Poland, July 20, 2015. The 321st STS is based out of RAF Mildenhall, England. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A 321st Special Tactics Squadron combat controller hammers a distance marker into place before the start of an austere landing training exercise at Nowe Miasto, Poland, July 20, 2015. The colorful markers are used as a reference point to aid pilots when landing on unimproved surfaces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A 321st Special Tactics Squadron combat controller hammers a distance marker into place before the start of an austere landing training exercise at Nowe Miasto, Poland, July 20, 2015. The colorful markers are used as a reference point to aid pilots when landing on unimproved surfaces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft travels down a runway during an austere landing training exercise at Nowe Miasto, Poland, July 20, 2015. The rugged surface conditions of the runway allow pilots to closely simulate landing conditions in a deployed environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft travels down a runway during an austere landing training exercise at Nowe Miasto, Poland, July 20, 2015. The rugged surface conditions of the runway allow pilots to closely simulate landing conditions in a deployed environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft soars through the sky during an austere landing training exercise at Nowe Miasto, Poland, July 20, 2015. The 354th EFS is currently operating at Lask Air Base, Poland. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft soars through the sky during an austere landing training exercise at Nowe Miasto, Poland, July 20, 2015. The 354th EFS is currently operating at Lask Air Base, Poland. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft pilot travels down the runway during an austere landing training exercise at Nowe Miasto, Poland, July 20, 2015. The deployed A-10s are part of the first European Theater Security Package. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft pilot travels down the runway during an austere landing training exercise at Nowe Miasto, Poland, July 20, 2015. The deployed A-10s are part of the first European Theater Security Package. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft takes off during an austere landing training exercise at Nowe Miasto, Poland, July 20, 2015. The deployed A-10s are part of the first European Theater Security Package. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft takes off during an austere landing training exercise at Nowe Miasto, Poland, July 20, 2015. The deployed A-10s are part of the first European Theater Security Package. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Two 321st Special Tactics Squadron combat controllers watch as a 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft flies overhead during an austere landing training exercise at Nowe Miasto, Poland, July 20, 2015. The 321st STS provided ground air control for the A-10 pilots. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

Two 321st Special Tactics Squadron combat controllers watch as a 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft flies overhead during an austere landing training exercise at Nowe Miasto, Poland, July 20, 2015. The 321st STS provided ground air control for the A-10 pilots. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft takes off during an austere landing training exercise at Nowe Miasto, Poland, July 20, 2015. The group of A-10 pilots performed unimproved surface landings during the night and had no lighting on the runway. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft takes off during an austere landing training exercise at Nowe Miasto, Poland, July 20, 2015. The group of A-10 pilots performed unimproved surface landings during the night and had no lighting on the runway. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

A 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft flies overhead at night during an austere landing training exercise at Nowe Miasto, Poland, July 20, 2015. During night hours, pilots will use night vision goggles to land on an unimproved surface when no light is available. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)
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A 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft flies overhead at night during an austere landing training exercise at Nowe Miasto, Poland, July 20, 2015. During night hours, pilots will use night vision goggles to land on an unimproved surface when no light is available. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Luke Kitterman/Released)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- Members of the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and 321st Special Tactics Squadron traveled to Nowe Miasto, Poland, to perform specialized training July 20-23, 2015.

During the day and night, 354th EFS A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft pilots performed unimproved surface landings on an austere landing strip, set up by 321st STS combat controllers, to simulate conditions of a deployed environment.

"The training we are getting here with our pilots will allow us to forward deploy even further than we already can," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Hayde, 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron commander. "In a real-life scenario, combat controllers and pilots with austere landing capabilities could land aircraft anywhere in enemy territory without leaving a large footprint."

An unimproved surface can be dirt, grass, sand, or any other type of rugged terrain.
The old runway where the training took place consisted of cracked, uneven asphalt and was previously only conquered by a few.

"We started with just two pilots in the entire squadron qualified and now we have an extra 10 qualified," Hayde said. "For this training, we'll have the first set of our brand new qualified instructors leading pilots."

The 354th EFS A-10 pilots in training are a part of the first European Theater Security Package in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. They are currently operating out of Lask Air Base, Poland, working together with NATO allies.

"The mission of the Theater Security Package is to reassure our NATO allies," Hayde said. "We have been doing that by providing micro deployments where we take four A-10s at a time to multiple countries. This is the final evolution of that. Now we are taking our entire squadron and putting them on an old runway in the middle of nowhere. We can land A-10s pretty much anywhere."