Sabers support Aviation Rotation 17-4
By Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder, 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 14, 2017
Krzesiny AIR BASE, Poland --
Demonstrating the U.S. military commitment to Poland, six 480th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcons and approximately 110 personnel assigned to the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, arrived at 52nd Operations Group Detachment 1 here, September 8-25.
At the invitation of the government of Poland, U.S. Air Forces in Europe will be conducting an off site training event that demonstrates the U.S.’s commitment to collective defense responsibilities under NATO’s objectives.
“The War Hawks came to Poland for three primary reasons, to exercise our readiness, to demonstrate our interoperability with the Polish Military, and to bolster security efforts within the European theater,” said Lt. Col. Mike Richard, 480th Fighter Squadron commander.
Richard explains that this aviation rotation provides them with training opportunities they wouldn’t get back in Germany while bolstering deterrence efforts in Europe.
“It’s always great to work with members of the Saber Nation,” said Richard. “Getting out here and working with Det. 1., and seeing the relationship they have built with the Polish air force, it’s exciting to see that in person.”
The 52nd OG Det. 1 was activated in November 2012, and is the only permanent U.S. Air Force presence on Polish soil. The detachment’s presence in Poland makes it possible to host multiple allied Air Force elements and serve as a regional hub for air training and multi-national exercises. They also facilitate and enable combined U.S. and Polish training and exercises to increase air support to NATO.
“Their role is critical to working with the Polish air force on coordination to make these aviation detachment rotations go off without a hitch,” said Col. Anthony Retka, 52nd Operations Group commander. “Their presence here helps us build relationships and operate more effectively with our NATO partners.”