KRAKOW, Poland --
KRAKOW, Poland — Special operators from the Jednostka Wojskowa Komandosow, Polish Special Forces, U.S. Army 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), and the U.S. Air Force 352nd Special Operations Wing, conducted military free-fall and static-line airborne operations in Poland, Dec. 2-5, 2019 which improves SOF relationships and tactical procedures between the two countries.
"This training allows us to mesh our tactics techniques and procedures when it comes to air operations,” said the 19th SFG (A) Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha Commander. “Operations such as this make operating like this not so much unique, but a widespread practice, so that here in a controlled environment we can work out the differences between our two elements. Then in a denied or possibly hostile environment, those things are already worked out, resulting in a smooth execution.”
The 19th SFG (A) and the 352nd SOW's forward presence in Europe enable the ability to work closely with other NATO allies and partners to sharpen their proficiencies in airborne operations across Europe.
"This is an excellent opportunity for us to work with a close ally in the European theater and build bonds for the future,” said a U.S. Air Force Capt., the 352nd SOW mission commander. “Training like this allows us to dial in our skills of executing airdrop operations while supporting outstanding professionals. It is great to see the relationships between our units that have been built upon during our time working together."
While this airborne operation is the concluding event of this training engagement, the experiences gained and relationships built will remain stronger than ever. As the teams return to their respective home-stations to share their lessons learned with their leaders, they stand ready for the next opportunity to deploy, train, and even fight as a multinational force.
"This is a culminating event of training that has already been ongoing between U.S. and Polish Special Forces," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Matthew Hofmeister, a special operations liaison officer in Poland. "Pieces of training like this help to reinforce the already strong relationship that we [U.S.] have with the Polish Special Operation Forces, and it also helps improve our interoperability with a strong NATO ally."
The 19th SFG (A) routinely works with Polish allies, but the addition of the 352nd SOW truly made it a combined air and mobility effort to further tactics, techniques, and procedures.
"We've partnered with the 352nd SOW before, working with the CV-22B Osprey to do air operations down in Hungary,” said the 19th SFG (A) commander. “The 352nd SOW spoils us when it comes to their capabilities and user-friendliness and specifically with this MC-130J Commando II. It's an incredible platform to jump from, especially when it comes to free-fall operations. It is a very efficient and effective aircraft and enables us to maximize our training time."
The Commando II has the ability to fly low visibility, single or multi-ship, low-level air refueling missions for special operations helicopters and tiltrotor aircraft. They also provide the capability for SOF infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of special operations Forces by airdrop or air-land intruding politically sensitive or hostile territories.