By Staff Sgt. Jarad A. Denton, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa Public Affairs / Published August 26, 2014
A C-130J Super Hercules lands on an unimproved runway Aug. 25, 2014, at Powidz Air Base, Poland. Throughout the deployment to Poland, Airmen were able to work with NATO partners to develop and improve forces capable of maintaining regional security. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jarad A. Denton)
A C-130J Super Hercules flies over the flightline during an unimproved landing zone training mission Aug. 25, 2014, at Powidz Air Base, Poland. During the 60-day deployment to Poland, the aircrew were able to engage in a multitude of training opportunities in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jarad A. Denton)
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POWIDZ AIR BASE, Poland (AFNS) --
With a flurry of grass and dirt, a C-130J Super Hercules touched down on a grass runway at Powidz Air Base, Poland, marking the final week of deployed operations here, Aug. 25.
For Airmen deployed from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, this was their home away from home for 60 days.
"Throughout this deployment the Airmen here represented America's forward presence, postured alongside our proven, indispensable European partners," said Lt. Col. Barry King II, the 37th Airlift Squadron detachment commander at Powidz AB. "The visible support we bring to Europe allows us to strengthen our interoperability through regular combined training exercises."
During their time in Poland, Airmen honed their operational skills and worked together to ensure the C-130's were ready and able to conduct low-level flight training at improved and unimproved landing zones, as well as partner with U.S. Army and NATO service members for cargo airdrops and personnel jumps. Aircrews worked round-the-clock, generating 150 flying missions that accounted for more than 330 hours in the air.
"This has been a tremendous opportunity for our Airmen to demonstrate their shared commitment to peace and regional security, alongside our NATO partners," King said. "Since 2012, the 37th Airlift Squadron has held training events like this in Poland. We are proud and honored to continue the tradition."
Throughout the training, Airmen on the ground toiled tirelessly to ensure the Super Hercules was in prime working condition. Airmen devoted countless maintenance hours to keeping an aircraft -- which recently celebrated 60 years of production -- in the air.
"At any given moment, a C-130 could be called anywhere in the world to take on any challenge presented to it," said 2nd Lt. Su Johnson, the 86th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron sortie support officer in charge. "Maintainers are ready anytime to ensure that plane is prepped, ready to go and capable of returning safely. We take our job very seriously."
Whether on the ground or in the air, Airmen deployed to Powidz AB had a unique opportunity to test their capabilities, and integrated themselves to experience Polish culture and traditions.
"Our time in Poland has afforded us a unique opportunity to conduct training focused on maintaining joint readiness, ensuring our collective security and protecting our global interests," King said. "The benefits of training with other nations in deployed locations, like Poland, far outweigh the benefits that come from training independently. The experience gained by our Airmen alone is absolutely essential to maintaining our commitment to a Europe that is whole, free and at peace."