USAF activates AvDet in Poland
By Airman 1st Class Gustavo Castillo, 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 13, 2012
LASK AIR BASE, Poland -- A U.S. Aviation Detachment was activated here Nov. 9, 2012.
Airmen assigned to the detachment will come from across the Air Force and will be attached to the 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, under the 52nd Operations Group, Detachment 1.
The detachment will be an enduring presence with 10 Airmen, but F-16 and C-130 crews and aircraft will rotate periodically for training, where the total number of personnel could surge up to 250.
"We've put together an excellent team, and everybody's eager to begin the first rotations of aircraft, so that our Airmen have an excellent opportunity for training," said Maj. Matthew Spears, 52nd OG, Det 1 commander.
The AV DET supports Poland's continued defense modernization and standardization with the U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and enables cooperation in regional security efforts.
"Our Airmen have an excellent opportunity for training," Major Spears said. "We get to engage with one of our key allies within NATO in order to forge a more powerful partnership."
Facilitating bilateral and eventually multinational joint training exercises, the AV DET will optimize the use of Poland's ranges and airspace to enhance both countries' flight tactics and maneuvers.
The 10 Airmen who volunteered for the opportunity to set-up this first-ever detachment in Poland, have a unifying characteristic and eagerness to showcase their knowledge and skills to make the unit successful.
"I think it is truly an honor to be selected from my career field for this historical mission that we are about to embark on," said Master Sgt. Jerry Martinez, 52nd OG Det. 1 logistics manager."We are here to lay the bricks down for the future rotations to follow,"
The goal of this increased cooperation between the United States and Polish Air Forces is to strengthen interoperability as NATO allies through regular combined training exercises and military-to-military engagement.
"There are three key benefits of bringing these teams together," said Adm. James Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander Europe and United States European Command commander. "First is sharing tactics so that we have an opportunity to learn from each other while we operate our F-16s and C-130s. Secondly, participating in the article five commitment to defend the border of the NATO alliance. Thirdly and most importantly is the people to people contact of the wonderful U.S. Airmen working with terrific Polish Airmen."
A more capable Polish ally will help us realize our shared foreign and security policy priorities within the broader NATO alliance.