Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel visited U.S. and Polish defense officials, including a stop at the Air Force’s 52nd Operations Group’s C-130 detachment at Powidz AB, Poland, according to a Jan. 31 release. “The United States greatly appreciates Poland inviting us and hosting that detachment,” Hagel said meeting with Polish defense minister Tomasz Siemoniak in Warsaw. The 52nd Fighter Wing commander also visited the Air Force F-16 detachment at Lask AB, Poland, this week, proposing to expand exchanges between US and Polish F-16 maintainers, according to the unit’s Jan. 31 release. “Our maintenance professionals would be happy to share some of our best practices and lessons learned,” 52nd FW Commander Col. David Julazadeh told base leaders. Ten airmen are permanently assigned to Lask to support regular F-16 rotations and to serve as liaisons with the Polish air force host unit, stated the report.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.