POWIDZ AIR BASE, Poland — As the U.S. and Polish celebrate 90 years of diplomatic relations this year, the two countries' Air Forces continue to strengthen their bonds by way of the C-130 Hercules.
Members of the 86th Airlift Wing along with their commander, Brig. Gen. Bill Bender, visited Powdiz Air Base in Poland by way of Warsaw to show off the aircrafts capabilities.
Poland is expected to receive five C-130E models from the U.S. Air Force in the near future. The new air frame is expected to expand Poland's cargo and troop moving capabilities, while allowing seamless cooperation between the two countries in contingency operations anywhere in the world.
According to Brig. Gen. Tadeusz Mikutel, Poland's 33rd Air Base commander, the Hercules will be the biggest of the country's aircraft.
During the visit members of the 86th AW demonstrated low level flying, mission planning, standard maintenance and loading procedures, and had a chance to exchange ideas with the Polish military.
"One of the things we are able to do while we are here is to be able to partner and work with the Polish Air Force to demonstrate some of the capabilities of the C-130's that they will soon have in their inventory," said Bender. "I hope that we will continue to have a great working relationship between our Air Force and the Polish air force."
While addressing the local Polish media, Bender reassured the press and the Polish air force that they will be receiving a quality aircraft despite the E models age.
"The models the Polish air force will be getting will have some modifications, and many components will be changed, so now you are looking at year 2000 technology instead of 1960 technology," said Bender. "It has great capabilities that I believe the Polish Air Force should be excited to have."
C-130 trained members of the Polish air force had the chance to watch and discuss what their U.S. Air Force counterparts do in their every day jobs on the C-130.
"They have received the same training that we have as members of the U.S. Air Force," said Tech. Sgt. Jay Mitchell. "With the demonstrations here they get see how things work outside of the classroom environment."
Through the training and teamwork, the U.S. and Polish Air Forces will continue to strengthen the bonds they have helped establish through the C-130.