Officials with the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein AB, Germany, visited their “sister” wing—the 3rd Airlift Wing at Powidz AB, Poland—in late July, cementing a bourgeoning relationship founded roughly one year ago. “This program is, for Polish armed forces, very important. We count on very good cooperation with the 86th Airlift Wing,” said Polish Col. Slawomir Zakowski, 3rd AW commander. The Poles began operating five reconditioned C-130Es last year from Powidz, seeking to enhance their airlift capabilities. The Ramstein airmen operate new C-130Js, but formerly flew some of those same C-130Es. Since establishing the partnership, the two wings have engaged in regular joint training exercises. “Our idea is to create a small Ramstein here in Powidz,” said Zakowski, outlining plans for a new port facility and modernized tarmac as his organization continues to expand. (Powidz report by SSgt. Tyrona Lawson)
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.