News: Screaming Eagle V: US-Polish air forces improve interoperability with NATO exercise
Story by Tech. Sgt. Kenya Shiloh
POWIDZ AIR BASE, Poland — Members of Aviation Detachment 1, 52nd Operations Group, received more than 60 U.S. Air Force and Army personnel and C-130J Super Hercules aircraft from the 37th Airlift Squadron, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, for Exercise Screaming Eagle V.
The exercise tests the skills and interoperability of U.S. and Polish air force C-130 pilots and aircrew onlow-level flying, air assault, unimproved landing zone and drop zonetactics techniques and procedures.
According to U.S. Air Force Capt. Luke Waschovich, Screaming Eagle V deputy mission commander from the 37th Airlift Squadron, training here allows aircrew members, maintainers and support staff to work closely with their Polishair force counterparts to fine tune their skills while strengthening their relationship as NATO allies.
"Building partnership capacity with the Polish in events such as this allows us to deploy with our NATO partner to areas such as Afghanistan and hit the ground running because we already understand each other's strengths and weaknesses," said Waschovich of Hershey, Pa. "We don't have to spend days trying to figure out the basics of how to fly with them. Screaming Eagle V sets us up for success because we understand each others' culture and mindset; we can just go and get the mission done."
Before members of the 37th arrived in Poland and started flying, 10 individuals assigned to the Av-Det laid the ground work for the exercise. The Av-Det personnel handled everything from determining the facilities in which aircrew and maintainers would work, to hotel arrangements and rental cars.
Hosting an exercise this large wouldn’t have been possible without the Av-Det's continued presence in Poland. Since its establishment in October 2012, as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Polish Minister of Defense, Av-Det members have been working non-stop to help further the United States’ commitment to Poland as a NATO ally.
"The Av-Det's role is to essentially act as a liaison between the U.S. Air Force incoming unit, the 37th Airlift Squadron, and the Polish air force," said Maj. Matthew Spears, Av-Det commander from Pueblo, Colo. "More specific to the flight training taking place, we make an effort to balance the training objectives for both nations so that each partner has an opportunity to achieve their objectives during the exercise. One of the primary goals is to ensure that this continues to be a mutually beneficial endeavor."
According to Spears, having an aviation detachment here on a continuous basis eliminates the need for each incoming unit to perform their own site surveys and advance team deployments. In the past, an advance liaison team would travel to the exercise area to conduct all the coordination necessary to receive a deployed unit. They would also provide support for the duration of the unit and redeploy the unit at the end of the rotation. With the Av-Det here on a continuous basis, time and money are saved in the long run.
"Not only are we saving money, but our continuing presence is establishing those relationships and partnerships with the specific individuals at each of the three Polish Air Bases we've been authorized to operate at," Spears said. "Having that continuity strengthens our partnership when they see a familiar face each time we prepare for these exercises."
This is the first of four quarterly exercises hosted by the Av-Det supporting C-130 and F-16 units from U.S. bases around the world. At any given time, up to 200 U.S. military personnel and civilian contractors will rotate here. The Av-Det will serve as a regional hub,making it possible for Poland to host other Allied Forces for air training and multi-national exercises.
This work, Screaming Eagle V: US-Polish air forces improve interoperability with NATO exercise, by TSgt Kenya Shiloh, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.