SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --
The 52nd Operations Group, Detachment 1, is a geographically separated unit, located at Lask Air Base in Poland. Their mission is to foster bilateral ties, enhance regional security and increase interoperability among NATO allies through combined training exercises with periodic rotational aircraft.
The unit was instrumental in the recent success of an Agile Combat Employment exercise in which two F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft from Spangdahlem worked together with aircraft from the 492nd Fighter Squadron from RAF Lakenheath, England, and the Polish Air Force.
These exercises help allow the United States and its allies prepare to respond decisively to an array of global threats and to better support air operations.
“Detachment 1 contributes to the ACE mission by providing a location for units with desired learning objectives to come and exercise,” said Tech. Sgt. John Wilson, a maintenance support liaison assigned to Det. 1. “These units come for Aviation Detachment Rotations and help with host nation relationships.”
Detachment 1 provides continuous in-country support to four Aviation Detachment Rotation missions per year, typically alternating between F-16 and C-130 airframes to promote combined interoperability between the Polish Air Force, United States Air Force and NATO forces.
While it isn’t uncommon for a unit to support multiple airframes, what makes this unit unique is the number of personnel it has to accomplish the mission.
There are only 10 personnel, representing just as many AFSCs assigned to Detachment 1, requiring the Airmen to perform multiple additional duties.
“In addition to being the subject matter expert for all the aerospace ground equipment in Poland, I also help with any maintenance issues and inspections,” Wilson said. “I make sure the equipment they need is provided.”
It’s a hefty responsibility, but Wilson said the detachment relies on a partnership with Saber Nation to meet strategic objectives in the region.
“We’re a GSU out here, and in order to achieve our mission, we must reach out to Spangdahlem for support,” Wilson said. “We very much appreciate their help and support.”