f22 raptor 9 9 15Paul Gordon Collier- Lasik Air Base in Poland received a special visit from top Navy Airmen flying f-22 Raptors and a C-130 Hercules.  The visit was part of an operation designed to “demonstrate the countries’ shared commitment to the collective security of NATO and the enduring peace and stability of the region.”

“Our friendship and partnership as allies through NATO afford us the ability to train every day as we improve the interoperability between all of our forces,” said Maj. Gen. Christopher Bence, the 3rd Air Force and 17th Expeditionary Air Force vice commander.

The American aviation group is working with the Polish Air Force in bilateral training, which it has been doing since 2011.

“Of course, it all starts with partnerships, and it starts here with our aviation detachment led by Lt. Col. Jack Harman as we continue forge our relationship as allies and, most importantly, as friends,” the general said.

This rotation is the largest rotation since the training operations began.  “This is our 19th rotation in the last two and a half years,” said Lt. Col. Jack Harman, the Detachment 1, 52nd Operations Group commander. “The relationship with our Polish allies is strong and growing.”

“This is the first deployment of the F-22 as we continue to build our partnership and train and work together to improve us as allies and as a nation on how we will ultimately fight if we had to,” Bence said.

“We continually rotate U.S. forces from the U.S. into Europe, and this is a part of the training rotation,” he said. “We look forward to continue to prove that fifth-generation aircraft can operate in Europe as we set the foundation for the future of the F-35(A Lightning II) coming to Europe in just the next few years.”

The move is also seen as a message to potential threats like Russia that America has not abandoned its ally, Poland.

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