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Poland to host US F-16 fighter jet rotations: US official
by Staff Writers
Warsaw (AFP) May 27, 2011

US F-16 fighter jets and Hercules transport aircraft will be deployed in Poland on a rotating basis while a US aviation detachment will be permanently stationed there, a senior US advisor said Friday as President Barack Obama arrived in the country.

"We are going to announce tomorrow the conclusion of the agreement to establish an aviation detachment in Poland that will allow for our two air forces to cooperate in training the Poles to utilize the American aircraft that they purchased, F-16 and (Hercules) C130," Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, a senior advisor for European affairs on the National Security Council told reporters.

"What we will be doing is rotating trainers and aircraft to Poland so that they can become more interoperable with NATO. This will be a small permanent presence on the ground and a permanent presence that will be rotational," she said.

Ahead of the visit, officials in Warsaw had expressed hope it would bring a deal for the permanent stationing of a US air force technical ground crew at a Polish F-16 base as well as training rotations of US F-16 fighters and Hercules transport aircraft as of 2013.

Last year saw the first three rotations of unarmed training batteries of US Patriot missiles in Poland, a move which also sparked Russia's ire. Four rotations are planned this year.

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