HomeNews114FW News

ArticleCS - Article View

AvDet 16-4 wraps up

Master Sgt. Scott Meyer, 114th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, removes a travel pod from an F-16 Fighting Falcon after arrival at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 3, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Master Sgt. Scott Meyer, 114th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, removes a travel pod from an F-16 Fighting Falcon after arrival at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 3, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Senior Airman Alex Hickman, 114th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, checks over an F-16 Fighting Falcon prior to take off at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 16, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Senior Airman Alex Hickman, 114th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, checks over an F-16 Fighting Falcon prior to take off at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 16, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Lt. Col. Quenten Esser, 114th Operations Group commander, and 1st Lt. Brendan Zubrod, F-16 wingman and assistant chief of weapons and tactics, step to their jets prior to a training mission at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 12, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Lt. Col. Quenten Esser, 114th Operations Group commander, and 1st Lt. Brendan Zubrod, F-16 wingman and assistant chief of weapons and tactics, step to their jets prior to a training mission at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 12, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the South Dakota Air National Guard prepares for take-off at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the South Dakota Air National Guard prepares for take-off at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the South Dakota Air National Guard comes in for a landing at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the South Dakota Air National Guard comes in for a landing at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Two F-16 Fighting Falcons from the South Dakota Air National Guard arrive at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016, after completing a training mission. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Two F-16 Fighting Falcons from the South Dakota Air National Guard arrive at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016, after completing a training mission. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Members of the South Dakota Air National Guard, 52nd Operations Group Detachment 1, and the Polish air force, stand for a group photo at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 22, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Members of the South Dakota Air National Guard, 52nd Operations Group Detachment 1, and the Polish air force, stand for a group photo at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 22, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Lask Air Base, Poland -- After four weeks and some significant challenges, Aviation Detachment 16-4 came to a close here, Sept. 23.

The South Dakota Air National Guard deployed more than 100 personnel to Lask Air Base, Poland in support of AvDet 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces.

The plan was to have eight F-16 Fighting Falcons on the deployment, but only four were able to make it overseas a week later than expected. Despite the challenges, 80 sorties were successfully flown.

"We certainly had to roll with the punches with the aircraft and time changing on us, but I think the fact that we were able to integrate with the Polish MiG 29s and have all of our pilots here fight them, was invaluable training." said Col. Greg Lair, 114th Fighter Wing vice commander.

"It's a testament to maintenance [Airmen] being able to keep the airplanes flying every single day, twice a day," he added.

Col. Joel De Groot, 114th Maintenance Group commander, attributed the hard work and dedication of every maintenance technician to the success of the mission.
"That's their lives; they own that mission," said De Groot.

Lair also explained that working alongside different countries pushes Airmen out of their comfort zones.

"It's very easy to get comfortable back home flying in our airspace," said Lair. "You don't always have to think too much about it, so anytime you're able to get out of that comfort zone is good."

Joint terminal attack controllers are service members on the ground, providing direction to combat aircraft where close air support is needed. In a deployed environment, pilots won't always be able to communicate with their own JTACs, so getting out of their comfort zone and learning to work with foreign JTACs is important.

"Working with the Polish JTACS, yes the terminology is right out of the manual that we both use, but their inflection is different, their cadence is different," explained Lair.
Even with numerous obstacles to overcome, the 114 FW shined with another successful deployment and valuable training.

"We couldn't have asked for a better deployment," said De Groot. "The weather and airplanes both cooperated very well, so it was a stellar deployment as far as maintenance goes."

"One of the reasons I thought it was so important we do this is we've been doing wartime [and] contingency operations for some time now and it was just a good opportunity to realize there's more out there," said Lair. I think it's good and invigorating and helps keep our people excited about their jobs."

ArticleCS

AvDet 16-4 wraps up

Master Sgt. Scott Meyer, 114th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, removes a travel pod from an F-16 Fighting Falcon after arrival at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 3, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Master Sgt. Scott Meyer, 114th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, removes a travel pod from an F-16 Fighting Falcon after arrival at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 3, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Senior Airman Alex Hickman, 114th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, checks over an F-16 Fighting Falcon prior to take off at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 16, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Senior Airman Alex Hickman, 114th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, checks over an F-16 Fighting Falcon prior to take off at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 16, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Lt. Col. Quenten Esser, 114th Operations Group commander, and 1st Lt. Brendan Zubrod, F-16 wingman and assistant chief of weapons and tactics, step to their jets prior to a training mission at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 12, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Lt. Col. Quenten Esser, 114th Operations Group commander, and 1st Lt. Brendan Zubrod, F-16 wingman and assistant chief of weapons and tactics, step to their jets prior to a training mission at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 12, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the South Dakota Air National Guard prepares for take-off at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the South Dakota Air National Guard prepares for take-off at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the South Dakota Air National Guard comes in for a landing at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the South Dakota Air National Guard comes in for a landing at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Two F-16 Fighting Falcons from the South Dakota Air National Guard arrive at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016, after completing a training mission. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Two F-16 Fighting Falcons from the South Dakota Air National Guard arrive at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016, after completing a training mission. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Members of the South Dakota Air National Guard, 52nd Operations Group Detachment 1, and the Polish air force, stand for a group photo at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 22, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Members of the South Dakota Air National Guard, 52nd Operations Group Detachment 1, and the Polish air force, stand for a group photo at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 22, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Lask Air Base, Poland -- After four weeks and some significant challenges, Aviation Detachment 16-4 came to a close here, Sept. 23.

The South Dakota Air National Guard deployed more than 100 personnel to Lask Air Base, Poland in support of AvDet 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces.

The plan was to have eight F-16 Fighting Falcons on the deployment, but only four were able to make it overseas a week later than expected. Despite the challenges, 80 sorties were successfully flown.

"We certainly had to roll with the punches with the aircraft and time changing on us, but I think the fact that we were able to integrate with the Polish MiG 29s and have all of our pilots here fight them, was invaluable training." said Col. Greg Lair, 114th Fighter Wing vice commander.

"It's a testament to maintenance [Airmen] being able to keep the airplanes flying every single day, twice a day," he added.

Col. Joel De Groot, 114th Maintenance Group commander, attributed the hard work and dedication of every maintenance technician to the success of the mission.
"That's their lives; they own that mission," said De Groot.

Lair also explained that working alongside different countries pushes Airmen out of their comfort zones.

"It's very easy to get comfortable back home flying in our airspace," said Lair. "You don't always have to think too much about it, so anytime you're able to get out of that comfort zone is good."

Joint terminal attack controllers are service members on the ground, providing direction to combat aircraft where close air support is needed. In a deployed environment, pilots won't always be able to communicate with their own JTACs, so getting out of their comfort zone and learning to work with foreign JTACs is important.

"Working with the Polish JTACS, yes the terminology is right out of the manual that we both use, but their inflection is different, their cadence is different," explained Lair.
Even with numerous obstacles to overcome, the 114 FW shined with another successful deployment and valuable training.

"We couldn't have asked for a better deployment," said De Groot. "The weather and airplanes both cooperated very well, so it was a stellar deployment as far as maintenance goes."

"One of the reasons I thought it was so important we do this is we've been doing wartime [and] contingency operations for some time now and it was just a good opportunity to realize there's more out there," said Lair. I think it's good and invigorating and helps keep our people excited about their jobs."

ArticleCS - Article View

AvDet 16-4 wraps up

Master Sgt. Scott Meyer, 114th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, removes a travel pod from an F-16 Fighting Falcon after arrival at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 3, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Master Sgt. Scott Meyer, 114th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, removes a travel pod from an F-16 Fighting Falcon after arrival at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 3, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Senior Airman Alex Hickman, 114th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, checks over an F-16 Fighting Falcon prior to take off at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 16, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Senior Airman Alex Hickman, 114th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, checks over an F-16 Fighting Falcon prior to take off at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 16, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Lt. Col. Quenten Esser, 114th Operations Group commander, and 1st Lt. Brendan Zubrod, F-16 wingman and assistant chief of weapons and tactics, step to their jets prior to a training mission at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 12, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Lt. Col. Quenten Esser, 114th Operations Group commander, and 1st Lt. Brendan Zubrod, F-16 wingman and assistant chief of weapons and tactics, step to their jets prior to a training mission at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 12, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the South Dakota Air National Guard prepares for take-off at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the South Dakota Air National Guard prepares for take-off at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the South Dakota Air National Guard comes in for a landing at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the South Dakota Air National Guard comes in for a landing at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Two F-16 Fighting Falcons from the South Dakota Air National Guard arrive at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016, after completing a training mission. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Two F-16 Fighting Falcons from the South Dakota Air National Guard arrive at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016, after completing a training mission. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Members of the South Dakota Air National Guard, 52nd Operations Group Detachment 1, and the Polish air force, stand for a group photo at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 22, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Members of the South Dakota Air National Guard, 52nd Operations Group Detachment 1, and the Polish air force, stand for a group photo at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 22, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Lask Air Base, Poland -- After four weeks and some significant challenges, Aviation Detachment 16-4 came to a close here, Sept. 23.

The South Dakota Air National Guard deployed more than 100 personnel to Lask Air Base, Poland in support of AvDet 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces.

The plan was to have eight F-16 Fighting Falcons on the deployment, but only four were able to make it overseas a week later than expected. Despite the challenges, 80 sorties were successfully flown.

"We certainly had to roll with the punches with the aircraft and time changing on us, but I think the fact that we were able to integrate with the Polish MiG 29s and have all of our pilots here fight them, was invaluable training." said Col. Greg Lair, 114th Fighter Wing vice commander.

"It's a testament to maintenance [Airmen] being able to keep the airplanes flying every single day, twice a day," he added.

Col. Joel De Groot, 114th Maintenance Group commander, attributed the hard work and dedication of every maintenance technician to the success of the mission.
"That's their lives; they own that mission," said De Groot.

Lair also explained that working alongside different countries pushes Airmen out of their comfort zones.

"It's very easy to get comfortable back home flying in our airspace," said Lair. "You don't always have to think too much about it, so anytime you're able to get out of that comfort zone is good."

Joint terminal attack controllers are service members on the ground, providing direction to combat aircraft where close air support is needed. In a deployed environment, pilots won't always be able to communicate with their own JTACs, so getting out of their comfort zone and learning to work with foreign JTACs is important.

"Working with the Polish JTACS, yes the terminology is right out of the manual that we both use, but their inflection is different, their cadence is different," explained Lair.
Even with numerous obstacles to overcome, the 114 FW shined with another successful deployment and valuable training.

"We couldn't have asked for a better deployment," said De Groot. "The weather and airplanes both cooperated very well, so it was a stellar deployment as far as maintenance goes."

"One of the reasons I thought it was so important we do this is we've been doing wartime [and] contingency operations for some time now and it was just a good opportunity to realize there's more out there," said Lair. I think it's good and invigorating and helps keep our people excited about their jobs."

ArticleCS - Dashboard

114th Fighter Wing News

AvDet 16-4 wraps up

Master Sgt. Scott Meyer, 114th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, removes a travel pod from an F-16 Fighting Falcon after arrival at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 3, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Master Sgt. Scott Meyer, 114th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, removes a travel pod from an F-16 Fighting Falcon after arrival at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 3, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Senior Airman Alex Hickman, 114th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, checks over an F-16 Fighting Falcon prior to take off at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 16, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Senior Airman Alex Hickman, 114th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, checks over an F-16 Fighting Falcon prior to take off at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 16, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Lt. Col. Quenten Esser, 114th Operations Group commander, and 1st Lt. Brendan Zubrod, F-16 wingman and assistant chief of weapons and tactics, step to their jets prior to a training mission at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 12, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Lt. Col. Quenten Esser, 114th Operations Group commander, and 1st Lt. Brendan Zubrod, F-16 wingman and assistant chief of weapons and tactics, step to their jets prior to a training mission at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 12, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the South Dakota Air National Guard prepares for take-off at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the South Dakota Air National Guard prepares for take-off at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the South Dakota Air National Guard comes in for a landing at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the South Dakota Air National Guard comes in for a landing at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Two F-16 Fighting Falcons from the South Dakota Air National Guard arrive at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016, after completing a training mission. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Two F-16 Fighting Falcons from the South Dakota Air National Guard arrive at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 19, 2016, after completing a training mission. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Members of the South Dakota Air National Guard, 52nd Operations Group Detachment 1, and the Polish air force, stand for a group photo at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 22, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Members of the South Dakota Air National Guard, 52nd Operations Group Detachment 1, and the Polish air force, stand for a group photo at Lask Air Base, Poland, Sept. 22, 2016. The 114th Fighter Wing deployed more than 100 personnel in support of Aviation Detachment 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces. The 114 FW was able to train alongside Polish allies in a variety of missions to include, close air support, air to air and air to ground. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Amy Rittberger)

Lask Air Base, Poland -- After four weeks and some significant challenges, Aviation Detachment 16-4 came to a close here, Sept. 23.

The South Dakota Air National Guard deployed more than 100 personnel to Lask Air Base, Poland in support of AvDet 16-4, a bilateral training exercise between the U.S. and Polish forces.

The plan was to have eight F-16 Fighting Falcons on the deployment, but only four were able to make it overseas a week later than expected. Despite the challenges, 80 sorties were successfully flown.

"We certainly had to roll with the punches with the aircraft and time changing on us, but I think the fact that we were able to integrate with the Polish MiG 29s and have all of our pilots here fight them, was invaluable training." said Col. Greg Lair, 114th Fighter Wing vice commander.

"It's a testament to maintenance [Airmen] being able to keep the airplanes flying every single day, twice a day," he added.

Col. Joel De Groot, 114th Maintenance Group commander, attributed the hard work and dedication of every maintenance technician to the success of the mission.
"That's their lives; they own that mission," said De Groot.

Lair also explained that working alongside different countries pushes Airmen out of their comfort zones.

"It's very easy to get comfortable back home flying in our airspace," said Lair. "You don't always have to think too much about it, so anytime you're able to get out of that comfort zone is good."

Joint terminal attack controllers are service members on the ground, providing direction to combat aircraft where close air support is needed. In a deployed environment, pilots won't always be able to communicate with their own JTACs, so getting out of their comfort zone and learning to work with foreign JTACs is important.

"Working with the Polish JTACS, yes the terminology is right out of the manual that we both use, but their inflection is different, their cadence is different," explained Lair.
Even with numerous obstacles to overcome, the 114 FW shined with another successful deployment and valuable training.

"We couldn't have asked for a better deployment," said De Groot. "The weather and airplanes both cooperated very well, so it was a stellar deployment as far as maintenance goes."

"One of the reasons I thought it was so important we do this is we've been doing wartime [and] contingency operations for some time now and it was just a good opportunity to realize there's more out there," said Lair. I think it's good and invigorating and helps keep our people excited about their jobs."