US Warthogs Land At An Abandoned Warsaw Pact Airfield in Poland.
US A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft deployed to Europe as part of a U.S. Air Force TSP (Theater Security Package) conducted rough field training in Poland.
Territory of Poland is scattered, besides the highway strips, with old, abandoned Warsaw Pact military airfields which have not been in use since the Cold War.
Since Jul. 20, according to the Air Force Times, the Warthogs from the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron temporarily based at Lask to strengthen the U.S. presence in eastern Europe amid growing tensions with Russia, have practiced landings and operations at Nowe Miasto, where the runway, unused for years, is far from pristine conditions: not a problem for the A-10 which is practically immune to FOD (Foreign Object Damage) thanks to its engines mounted far from the surface of the runway.
The operations conducted by the American pilots included night operations.
In his interview to Air Forces Times, Lt. Col Ryan Hayde, commander of the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, stated that the operations at the airfield were conducted with the help of the US Special Forces CCT’s (Combat Controllers), who acted as the air traffic control during the exercise, since the airfield has no ATC provided on regular basis.
Interestingly, the Polish Ministry of Defense kept the whole event in secrecy until the news was spread, post-factum by American sources. Even after the event, Lt. Col. Artur Goławski, spokesperson for the Polish General Command of the Armed Forced, denied the operation.
Image credit: U.S. Air Force