The first C-130 aircraft arrived in Poland with equipment and a 12-member advance team

From U.S. Embassy in Poland:  The first rotation of  U.S. Air Force personnel and aircraft is arriving at Powidz Air Base this weekend, marking the beginning of quarterly exercises between U.S. and Polish troops.

Sixty-six U.S. Air Force personnel from Ramstein Air Base in Germany will conduct two weeks of combined operations with Polish troops. 

The first C-130 aircraft arrives on Friday with equipment and a 12-member advance team, and then  returns to Ramstein.  Two more C-130s with personnel follow on Saturday and will remain for the exercises.

The flight training to be conducted will include precision airdrops and grass landings.  There will also be classroom discussions and planning for future combined training.     

While types of visiting U.S. aircraft will vary in the future, the squadrons will include F-16 or C-130 planes, accompanied by uniformed military personnel and civilian contractors. Aircraft and personnel will rotate on a quarterly basis. 

The current rotation will remain at the Powidz Air Base until March 9.

The first full-time stationing of U.S. troops in Poland was established last November with an aviation detachment (Av-Det) at Lask Air Base. Its mission is to strengthen cooperation between Poland and the United States through regular joint training exercises and rotational deployment of U.S. military aircraft.  The Av-Det also makes it possible for Poland  to host other Allied Air Force elements and to serve as a regional hub for air training and multi-national exercises.

President Barack Obama and President Bronisław Komorowski agreed in December 2010 to strengthen the U.S.-Polish security partnership through increased cooperation between Polish and U.S. air forces. The establishment of the U.S. Air Force detachment in Poland is an important example of Polish-American security cooperation, and is a practical means of strengthening the ability of American and Polish forces to conduct combined operations.   (photo: Jakub Kaczmarczyk/PAP)