Starting from Oct. 13. this year, the Polish Powidz AB (33rd Airlift Base) was hosting the US airlift aviation crews flying the C-130 Hercules aircraft. Within the framework of this rotation, which is the second one held this year, almost 130 US airmen are involved in joint training, utilizing four USAF and two Polish Air Force C-130 platforms. Last week we attended a med ia day in Powidz, held on Nov. 8. being a perfect occasion to sum up the American Deployment. During the Detachment, two missions a day were being flown – one at night and one during the day, with an average duration of 3 hours. The sorties were preceded by many hours of preparations and two hour briefing, as we were informed by the 33rd Airlift Base’s spokeswoman, Cpt. Martyna Fedro Samojedny.
The flying was taking place in any weather conditions that would make it possible to complete the mission, all over the territory of Poland. The training involved 2 C-130H airframes of the 96th Airlift Squadron 934th Airlift wing, hailing from Minneapolis, 2 C-130J airframes of the 37th Airlift Squadron of the 86th Airlift Wing hailing from Rammstein and 2 C-130E aircraft stationed locally, at the 33rd Airlift Base of the Polish Air Force. Furthermore, the training also involved more Polish units, including the 1st Airlift Wing, 2nd Tactical Aviation Wing and the 6th Airborne Brigade.
The missions carried out included formation flying, cargo and paratrooper drops, grass strip operations, fighter engagements, flights with the use of NVGs and low level training. The whole deployment allowed the Poles to gather new, invaluable experiences, as the Polish staff also had an opportunity to polish its language skills. Moreover, the operation allowed the parties involved to unify and standardize the operational procedures, through joint planning of the missions.
Images: Jacek Siminski and Witosław Stachowiak
Text: Jacek Siminski