The Polish Vipers join the coalition fighting ISIS
Polish Air Force F-16 fighters from the Łask Airbase, located close to the city of Łódź in the central part of Poland, have departed their homeland for the Middle East on Jul. 5.
Operating from the territory of Kuwait, the Polish Vipers are going to become a part of the global coalition fighting against ISIS, providing reconnaissance capabilities in support of Operation Inherent Resolve
According to the Polska Zbrojna, officers of the detachment are also going to provide their support to the Qatar multinational air operations centre, from where the reconnaissance sorties carried out by the Polish F-16s using the Goodrich DB110 recce pod will be coordinated.
Four additional aircraft have departed from the 23rd Air Base in Minsk Mazowiecki, not from Łask, which is their usual gathering point (Minsk Mazowiecki airbase is being currently used by the Polish Air Force MiG-29 jets).
Aerial refueling along the route is going to be provided by the Royal Netherlands Air Force KDC-10 tankers.
A report published by Polskie Radio quotes Lt. Col. Tomasz Jatczak, Lt. commander of the Polish detachment in Kuwait, who in an interview for the IAR outlet stressed that the sortie would constitute a great challenge for the pilots, since it is the first operational combat deployment of the Polish F-16 jets.
The observational character of the mission does not mean that the Polish fighters would be exempted from flying over the enemy territory, and this, as Jatczak claims, may be seen as a demanding task.
The Kuwaiti deployment, according to the reports emerging in the media, involves 130 persons.
Simultaneously Polish special forces are also going to be operating in the region, deploying 60 specialists who would provide training and consultancy support for the Iraqi Army, as Polskie Radio claims.
According to Polska Zbrojna, the Kuwaiti deployment is a direct result of a order issued by President Andrzej Duda. Two detachments have been created, which are to remain on alert within the period between Jun. 20. and Dec. 31. this year.
Image Credit: Michał Gajzler