Poland Moves All Its MiG-29 Fulcrums to Malbork Air Base

Polish MiG-29
A Polish MiG-29 departs from Minsk AB (Image credit: Andrzej Rogucki)

MiG-29 Days at the Minsk Mazowiecki Base Are Over After 33 Years.

The rumors have now been confirmed. For quite some time now, the Polish military aviation community knew that the EPMM (Minsk Mazowiecki AB) has been a home for the Polish Fulcrums and the squadron that was inheriting the RAF 303 Sqn heritage would no longer be a home for the Fulcrum.

The Polish MoD ordered the Fulcrums back in 1987, in the USSR. A dozen jets then began their service – starting in 1989 – at the Minsk Mazowiecki AB near Warsaw. The first QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) duty on the Fulcrum happened on Jan. 13, 1992. Three years later, another 10 MiG-29s were sourced in the Czech Republic, bringing the total number of jets stationed in Minsk to 22. From now on, the Fulcrums in Minsk Mazowiecki would no longer hold the QRA duty as the MiG jets would be transferred to the Malbork AB in northern Poland.

The jets have moved out from the 23rd Tactical Air Base in Minsk Mazowiecki over the recent weeks. The base personnel, along with the Fundacja Historyczna Lotnictwa Polskiego (Polish Aviation Historical Foundation) have decided to prepare stickers that would commemorate the 33 years of the Fulcrum’s presence at the EPMM airbase. It is noteworthy that 26 years ago when the Polish Air Force decommissioned the MiG-21 Fishbeds, they also stayed in service in the 1. PLM (1st Fighter Aviation Regiment, which later was operating the Fulcrums out of EPMM) for 33 years – the very same service age was reached by the Fulcrum.

Below you may find a Facebook post by Andrzej Rogucki, working at EPMM, also documenting the base’s life in his stunning photographs, referring to the events unfolding in Minsk Mazowiecki, more specifically at the base located close to the Janów village, neighbouring the city. The second image in the post depicts the commemorative sticker worn by one of the Fishbeds when they were being decommissioned.

The Minsk Mazowiecki AB is being readied to accommodate 12 out of 48 FA-50 aircraft procured by Poland in Korea this year as of next year. Let us recall, that the performance agreement concerning the delivery of 48 FA-50 and FA-50PL jets from Korea was signed by and between the Polish MoD’s Armament Agency (formerly known as the Armament Inspectorate) on Sep. 16, at the Minsk Mazowiecki AB. The value of the agreements is defined as USD 3 Billion.

About Jacek Siminski
Standing contributor for TheAviationist. Aviation photojournalist. Co-Founder of DefensePhoto.com. Expert in linguistics, Cold War discourse, Cold War history and policy and media communications.