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Aviation Detachment activated in Poland

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Gustavo Castillo
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Spangdahlem Air Base activated a U.S. Aviation Detachment (AV DET) at Lask Air Base Nov. 9, 2012.

The 52nd Operations Group Detachment 1 will be an enduring presence with 10 Airmen, but U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons and C-130 Hercules crews and aircraft will rotate periodically for training, where the total number of personnel could surge up to 250.

"We've put together an excellent team, and everybody's eager to begin the first rotations of aircraft, so that our Airmen have an excellent opportunity for training," said Maj. Matthew Spears, 52nd OG, Det. 1 commander.

Facilitating bilateral and eventually multinational joint-training exercises, the AV DET will optimize the use of Poland's ranges and airspace to enhance both countries' flight tactics and maneuvers by conducting joint training.

The AV DET supports Poland's continued defense modernization and standardization with the U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and enables cooperation in regional security efforts.

Regular training and military engagement conducted at the AV DET will increase cooperation with the U. S. Air Force's NATO ally, which strengthens interoperability and creates a more powerful partnership, Spears said.

"There are three key benefits of bringing these teams together," said U.S. Navy Adm. James Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander Europe and United States European Command commander. "First is sharing tactics so that we have an opportunity to learn from each other while we operate our F-16s and C-130s. Secondly, participating in the article five commitment -- to defend the border of the NATO alliance. Thirdly and most importantly is the people-to-people contact of the wonderful U.S. Airmen working with terrific Polish Airmen."

The 10 Airmen who volunteered for the opportunity to set-up this first-ever detachment in Poland, have a unifying characteristic and eagerness to showcase their knowledge and skills to make the unit successful.

"I think it is truly an honor to be selected from my career field for this historical mission that we are about to embark on," said Master Sgt. Jerry Martinez, 52nd OG Det. 1 logistics manager."We are here to lay the bricks down for the future rotations to follow."

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