US Ambassador to Poland Lee Feinstein and Polish Defense Minister Bogdan Klich signed the memorandum of understanding that facilitates the stand-up of a US Air Force aviation detachment in Poland on an enduring, full-time basis for military-to military engagement and joint training exercises. Under the agreement, the United States intends to establish the detachment in 2012, followed by rotational deployments of USAF aircraft beginning in 2013. “The detachment of personnel will support rotations of aircraft like US F-16s or C-130s to Poland for approximately two week periods four times per year,” states a release from the US embassy in Warsaw on the occasion of Monday’s signing. The parties did not announce the site of the detachment, but the plan is to utilize an existing Polish air force location. The joint training exercises include the potential “use of fifth generation fighter aircraft,” according to the MOU (full text). (Feinstein statement)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.