More than 20 F-15 and F-16 fighters of the US Air Force land in Poland
WARSAW, (BM) – On April 19, more than 20 F-15 and F-16 fighters have landed in Poland, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Defence24. These machines participate in exercises to transfer the American air force to the eastern flank.
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American fighter jets are training under the Agile Combat Employment concept, i.e., flexible use of forces and means and quick deployment in an emergency. In an interview with Defence24.pl, Capt. Anna Issel from the press team of 2 Tactical Aviation Wings informed that the training is related to the Aviation Detachment cycle. The machines will remain in the country until the end of this month.
Exercises as part of Aviation Detachment have been organized cyclically since 2012, but their scope has been extended and changed many times in recent years. After Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the size of rotation was increased, and temporarily in 2014, it was carried out continuously. Previously, the American F-16 planes alternately with the C-130 Hercules participated in them, which was justified by the possibility of training Polish pilots on machines of the same type. The current rotation, however, is unique in many respects.
First of all, over 20 fighters take part in it, which is much more than usual, and also, they come from different units and belonging to other types. It is not only the F-16 but also the F-15 of the 48th Fighter Wing permanently stationed at the British RAF Lakenheath base. The photos provided by the Ministry of National Defense show that they are, among others, multipurpose F-15E Strike Eagle. According to PAP, 20 F-15s and four F-16s participate in the mission.
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Secondly, Poland combined the current rotation of Aviation Detachment with an exercise to deploy air forces to the eastern flank. As Lt. Col. Marek Pawlak, spokesman for the General Command of the Armed Forces, said in an interview with Defence24.pl, the planes are deployed in two 2 SLT bases Krzesiny and Łask, but in the next week, Warsaw will move all machines to Łask. Lt. Col. Pawlak added that the Americans would train this time with Polish pilots, using devices of various types, not only the F-16 but also the MiG-29 and Su-22.
The Agile Combat Employment concept, under which the exercise occurs, involves the flexible deployment of US Air Force forces and assets in theaters of operations. The movement is, therefore relatively short-lived, but involves a large number of aircraft.
The Agile Combat Employment concept also includes the recent activities of USAF strategic aviation, including B-1B bomber exercises along with refueling in Powidz or flying over Europe from both forward bases in Norway, where they were deployed temporarily and directly from the USA. Such actions were intended to prepare the USAF to react quickly to potential threats.
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