Airmen deployed to Poland for a training exercise this month helped a local resident whose van flipped early Thursday morning outside Powidz Air Base.

At approximately 6:45 a.m. a Polish driver was involved in an accident near the base.

Seven airmen from the 48th Fighter Wing were on their way to the base when they witnessed the accident, according to a U.S. Air Forces Europe news release.

"It was second nature for us to stop and assist the driver involved in the incident,” said a first lieutenant assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing.

“Some of the airmen immediately went to help the driver while another called emergency services," the officer said. "Once we knew the driver was out of immediate danger, we flipped the vehicle back onto its wheels.”

The Air Force also distributed a photo of the good Samaritans in action.

A portion of the image was blurred to protect the privacy of European Union citizens in accordance with local regulations, U.S. Air Forces Europe said.

Two of the airmen were from the 48th Logistics Readiness Squadron and five were from the 48th Maintenance Group.

“There was no question about what to do, we just got to work quickly and did what needed to be done,” said another airman who provided assistance Thursday.

The airmen are deployed to Poland to participate in exercise Rapid Panther. The 48th Fighter Wing is based out of Royal Air Force Lakenheath in England.

The airmen deployed to Powidz AB on March 25 for Rapid Panther — an exercise designed to demonstrate the 48th Fighter Wing’s ability to forward deploy rapidly with few aircraft and personnel to execute flying training with the Polish air force.

This exercise is not related to any real-world events and is only designed to sharpen the collective readiness and strengthen relationships with NATO allies, U.S. Air Forces Europe said in a statement.

U.S. aircraft and personnel routinely deploy throughout the European theater to train with and support NATO allies and partners.

The U.S. footprint in Poland has been expanding significantly over the past year.

Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drones are now flying unarmed reconnaissance missions out of Miroslawiec air base, and the Pentagon has been negotiating the terms of building a permanent military installation in the country.

Kyle Rempfer was an editor and reporter who has covered combat operations, criminal cases, foreign military assistance and training accidents. Before entering journalism, Kyle served in U.S. Air Force Special Tactics and deployed in 2014 to Paktika Province, Afghanistan, and Baghdad, Iraq.

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