The United States and Poland have concluded the agreement to establish an Air Force aviation detachment in Poland next year to train with the Polish air force beginning in early 2013. “The aviation detachment will strengthen joint interoperability through regular training exercise rotations in Poland, largely with US F-16 or C-130 aircraft,” states the White House fact sheet released May 28 as President Obama concluded his visit to Poland for meetings with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk. “The aviation detachment that is being finalized will be significant, and we’re proud that we’ve gotten that completed,” said Obama during a joint press conference with Tusk in Warsaw that same day. Already in July, F-16s from the California Air National Guard will train with Polish F-16s to help the Poles prepare for hosting the European soccer championship tournament in June 2012. (Obama-Tusk transcript) (See also second fact sheet on US-Polish alliance)
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.