Obama to Visit USAF Airmen at Polish F-16 Base

US F-16s begin arriving at  Łask Air Base in Poland in March. (US Embassy photo)

US F-16s began arriving at Łask Air Base in Poland in March. (US Embassy photo)

President Barack Obama will visit US Air Force airmen stationed at Łask Air Base during a his visit to Poland next week, the White House announced on Friday.

The Air Force sent F-16 fighter jets to the base — which is about 100 miles southwest of Warsaw — in March following Russia’s invasion of Crimea. Obama will visit Łask on June 3 with Polish President Bronisław Komorowski, Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor for strategic communications, said in a conference call with reporters on Friday afternoon.

“The two leaders will have a chance to thank some of the personnel involved in that effort,” Rhodes said.

Obama will be in Poland next week to celebrate the 25 anniversary of the end of communism in the country.

Poland has hosted 10 US Air Force airmen as part of an F-16 and C-130 aviation detachment that was stood up in late 2012. The US airmen have helped with training and other tasks associated with operating military aircraft.

Poland has 48 Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters and five C-130 cargo planes. The Air Force deployed its own F-16 fighters to the base in March following Russia’s invasion into Ukraine.

Tomasz Siemoniak, the Polish defense minister, visited Washington in April and US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel visited Poland in January.

Marcus Weisgerber
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Marcus Weisgerber

Senior Pentagon Correspondent at Defense News
I write about broad-ranging policy, acquisition and budget issues affecting the US military.
Marcus Weisgerber
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