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Polish cadets visit 114th Fighter Wing deployed to Lask Air Base

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  • By Capt. Amy Rittberger
  • 114th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Fifteen Polish maintenance officer cadets had the opportunity to meet with maintenance personnel from the 114th Fighter Wing here, Sept. 6.

The cadets are in year three of their five year training program and wanted the opportunity to see U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcons and talk with the Airmen who work on the aircraft.

"We've seen the Polish maintenance, but they told us you were here so we asked if we could join you," said Sgt. Officer Cadet Bart Panienkowski. "There are many of you here so I'm glad I have the chance to talk to you."

The cadet's education program is similar to the Reserve Officer Training Corps program in the U.S. in that they go to school with civilian students, and participate in a military training program in addition to their studies. The cadets will continue on to graduate with a master's degree in engineering. Once the cadets graduate and earn their commission, they will go on to more specialized training in aircraft maintenance.

Master Sgt. Cameron Allsup, 114th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, said the cadets had already been familiarized with the Polish F-16, so their particular interest in talking with U.S. Airmen focused more on the Air National Guard as a whole.

"They were interested in us as a guard because their military doesn't have any type of guard system at this point," said Allsup.

It was not only a unique opportunity for the Polish cadets to visit with members of the unit, but it was also a great opportunity for the 114th Maintenance Group.

"It was fun," said Allsup. "It was interesting just to get their perspective and hear the different questions they would ask."