Polish Air Force visits Volk Field

Volk Field Air National Guard Base, Wis. -- Members of the Polish Air Force visited the 128th Air Control Squadron, Volk Field Air National Guard Base, Wisconsin, as a part of the State Partnership Program, June 6-17.

The four service members spent their time observing large force exercises during the Northern Lightening exercise.

"They had a chance to interact and observe how our tactics, techniques and procedures are implemented," said Capt. John McKenna, 128 ACS assistant operations director. "By working together, we were able to collaborate our best practices and disciplines on tasks such as radio communication procedures, threat recognition and crew resource management."

Their itinerary for the two-week span included a base tour, mass briefings, reviewing various programs and completing an air control tower tour, among other activities.

"We were here to gain experience and to compare how you guys work with how we work," said Lt. Karol Trochim, Polish Air Force ground control intercept weapons director. "Also, to compare our systems - the kind of information you gather compared to what we gather."

The Polish Air Force members spent time working in the operations module, a radar area dedicated to their particular jobs. They found several similarities between the 128 ACS systems and theirs in Poland, but found the differences during their observations more helpful.

"It's very helpful because we work a lot with your pilots and pilots from other countries," Trochim said. "Based on what we learned here, we can be a better partner to your pilots when they visit our country."

According to Trochim, they spend a lot of time working with Americans overseas. This visit gave them a chance to understand the different processes pilots from the 115th Fighter Wing implement, and it gave them more exposure to the F-16 Fighting Falcons.

"This was the first Polish Air Force visit we've had at Volk Field," McKenna said. "The eventual goal is to have them utilize our system of record and control, and participate in exercises side-by-side. But, there are many obstacles to overcome before that can happen."

To learn more about the State Partnership Program, visit http://www.nationalguard.mil/Leadership/JointStaff/J5/InternationalAffairsDivision/StatePartnershipProgram.aspx