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Polish AF welcomes U.S. AF partners for exercise

An Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon, assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, takes off at Łask Air Base, Poland, August 20, 2020. The 480th FS, 52nd Fighter Wing, was welcomed by the 32nd Tactical Air Base for participation in Aviation Detachment Rotation 20.4, where both U.S. and Polish Allies shared perspectives, strengthened partnerships and maintained deterrence capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Melody W. Howley)

An Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon, assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, takes off at Łask Air Base, Poland, August 20, 2020. The 480th FS, 52nd Fighter Wing, was welcomed by the 32nd Tactical Air Base for participation in Aviation Detachment Rotation 20.4, where both U.S. and Polish Allies shared perspectives, strengthened partnerships and maintained deterrence capabilities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Melody W. Howley)

A Polish air force F-16, assigned to the 32nd Tactical Air Base, takes off at Łask Air Base, Poland, August 20, 2020. Aviation Detachment Rotation will be one of the largest exercises performed at the 32nd TAB, where there will be focus on missions such as Large Force Deployments, Defensive Counter Air and Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Melody W. Howley)

A Polish air force F-16, assigned to the 32nd Tactical Air Base, takes off at Łask Air Base, Poland, August 20, 2020. Aviation Detachment Rotation will be one of the largest exercises performed at the 32nd TAB, where there will be focus on missions such as Large Force Deployments, Defensive Counter Air and Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Melody W. Howley)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --

Polish air force airmen assigned to the 32nd Tactical Air Base welcome members from the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, 52nd Fighter Wing, for training and participation in Aviation Detachment Rotation 20.4, at Łask Air Base, Poland.

The purpose of the U.S. participation in ADR’s with NATO partners is to continue building and strengthening relationships, enhancing capabilities and maintaining deterrence on future adversaries. The U.S. and Polish partners have been working together for the past two weeks and will continue flying together over the next month.

Polish air force Lt. Col. Przemysław Struj, 32nd Air Operations Group commander, said he is looking forward to the 480th FS flying with them.

“This will be one of the biggest exercises we have when it comes to ADR’s” said Struj. “We have a lot of U.S. jets here, we have jets from other bases in Poland and other assets involved in this mission. Working on large force deployments will be something we look forward to.”

U.S. Air Force Col. David Epperson, 52nd FW commander, said he appreciates the kindness and helpfulness he receives when coming to Poland for exercises.

“Poland is a great Ally, and the base we are training from is amazing,” said Epperson. “We learn so much from each other and we always have a great time together. Being in Poland gives us many opportunities we do not get back at home station, and everyone here is very welcoming to us.”

Polish air force Col. Tomasz Jatczak, 32nd Tactical Air Base commander, said having the U.S. at the 32nd TAB helps them learn from the tactical and strategic perspectives.

“We can learn from each other, update our procedures and share experiences,” said Jatczak. “This also helps strengthen our Alliance and keep us deterring our future enemies.”

 Struj said it is important to build relationships because it builds trust, community and friendship.

“A lot of these guys are people that we have already met in past missions,” said Struj. “It is great to see them again and continue building these friendships and learning from each other.”