The US Air Force has initiated a deployment of C-130 Hercules air-lifters at the 33rd Airlift Base in Powidz, Poland. The deployment constitutes a part of the Aviation Detachment initiative.
The US visitors, coming to Powidz with four C-130 Hercules aircraft, serve at the 86th Airlift Wing stationed in Ramstein, and at the 934th Airlift Wing, whose permanent base is located in Minneapolis. Their stay in Powidz will last for almost a month, until 25th March. The Powidz airbase also hosts the Polish C-130E aircraft.
During their deployment, the US airmen will be involved in joint training activities with the Polish forces. CDS pod drops, paratrooper drops (with Polish 6th Airborne Brigade involved), operating from grass strips, formation flying and night sorties realized with the use of the Night Vision Goggles are all going to be a part of the training planned throughout the duration of this rotation of the Aviation Detachment.
The pilots will also cooperate with the 1st and 2nd Tactical Aviation Wings of the Polish Air Force. The planned tactics that are going to be covered by the training operations include fighter escort and evasion. Aviation competition, planned to happen on 17th March, is also going to constitute an element of the realized training activities. All of the crews will get a chance to compare their skill levels, e.g. when it comes to precision cargo drops and landing in an exact, marked spot of the runway.
The flights will be realized in two time-windows – during the daytime and in the evenings. The US aviation component includes ca. 120 airmen, and it consists of pilots, ground crew and support personnel, however during their stay in Powidz they are going to be present there on a rotational basis, and the ultimate number of the participants is going to be slightly higher.
Aviation Detachment is a name for rotational presence activities undertaken by the United States of Air Force, the aim of which is to bolster the cooperation capabilities of the European Air Forces. In the light of the crisis beyond the Poland’s Eastern Border and considering the military activities undertaken by the Russians in Ukraine, scope of the Aviation Detachment operations has been significantly expanded. They involve the C-130 Hercules air-lifters and the F-16 jet fighters.