A small contingent of F-16 pilots and maintainers from the Polish air force visited the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing in Madison for a week of subject-matter exchange as part of the Guard’s State Partnership Program, according to a release. “The time here was excellent,” said Lt. Col. Pawel Marcinkowski, commander of the Polish air force’s 3rd Fighter Squadron. “We built lots of relationships and experiences we can take” back home, he said. The Poles have been partnered for years with the Illinois Air Guard’s 183rd FW in Springfield under SPP. When the wing lost its F-16 flying mission in 2008, the Poles asked to expand the partnership by adding another unit still flying F-16s. The Wisconsin air guardsmen entered the fold in 2014, according to the May 14 release. During the Poles’ May 2-8 visit, the Wisconsin airmen discussed work center-level maintenance with their guests and demonstrated operations and maintenance best practices.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.