Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

First F-16s arrive in Poland to bolster training mission

Mar. 13, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
An F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off March 13 from Aviano Air Base, Italy, to augment the Poland Aviation Detachment at Lask Air Base.
An F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off March 13 from Aviano Air Base, Italy, to augment the Poland Aviation Detachment at Lask Air Base. (Airman 1st Class Deana Heitzman/ / Air Force)
  • Filed Under

Six F-16 fighters from the 555th Fighter Squadron from Aviano Base, Italy, have arrived in Poland to augment the U.S. military’s presence there amid regional tensions following Russia’s Feb. 28 incursion into Ukraine, officials said.

The fighters landed on Thursday afternoon and another six F-16s are expected to arrive at Lask Air Base, Poland, by the end of the week, officials said. In addition to the 12 fighters, roughly 150 airmen will augment the ongoing training mission at the base.

A small team of roughly 10 airmen is permanently stationed at Lask Air Base, which hosts two-week training rotations for F-16 crews. It is not known how long the F-16s and airmen will stay in Poland, said Defense Department spokeswoman Eileen Lainez.

“Augmenting the AVDET [aviation detachment] was a deliberate choice to demonstrate to our allies that U.S. commitments to our collective defense responsibilities are credible and remain in force,” Lainez said in an email Thursday to Air Force Times. “The work we’re doing with Poland does just that.”

On March 6, the U.S. sent a KC-135 and six F-15 fighters to Lithuania to help safeguard Baltic airspace, reinforcing the four F-15s that have been there since Jan. 1.

And NATO is sending Airborne Early Warning and Control Aircraft to conduct reconnaissance flights over Poland and Romania to “monitor the crisis in Ukraine,” a NATO spokesman said Monday.

In April three C-130s and about 100 airmen from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, are expected to arrive at Poland’s Powidz Air Base on a regularly scheduled training rotation, said Air Force Lt. Col. David Westover, a spokesman for U.S. European Command. It is too soon to know if the two rotations could overlap.

The U.S. and its allies have denounced Russia’s moves to annex the Crimea region of Ukraine, which will hold a referendum on Sunday in which voters are expected to approve formally joining Russia. The Russian military has massed thousands of troops, tanks and helicopters on the border of eastern Ukraine, which is home to ethnic Russians, according to media reports.

Answers sponsored by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

This job will get you promoted
Army's new program elevates role of AIT platoon sgts.

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook