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F-16 fleet of Poland hits milestone; reaches 100,000 flight hours

The Polish Air Force celebrates 100,000 flight hours of its F-16 aircraft fleet, by staging a photo with its airmen standing in formation to form “100000” when read from the sky. The airmen in the photo are accompanied by the Polish flag and two of the aircraft acquired from the United States. (Courtesy photo)

The Polish Air Force celebrates 100,000 flight hours of its F-16 aircraft fleet, by staging a photo with its airmen standing in formation to form “100000” when read from the sky. The airmen in the photo are accompanied by the Polish flag and two of the aircraft acquired from the United States. (Courtesy photo)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- May 2021 marked a historic milestone for the F-16 fleet of Poland. Since the delivery of the first two aircraft in November 2006, the Polish F-16 fleet has achieved 100,000 flight hours.

“This completion of 100,000 flight hours proves the high quality, competence, and dedication of Polish airmen,” explained Lt. Col. Pawel Pogorzelski, F-16 Polish Foreign Liaison Officer (FLO), “The Polish F-16 aircraft has triggered enthusiasm and ambition of airmen, who have successfully implemented tactics, techniques, and procedures vital for full interoperability with the United States Air Force (USAF) and NATO partners.”

The year 2021 also marks 20 years since the Polish government selected the F-16 as their fighter of choice. The F-16 is a leading multinational aircraft that has allowed the Polish Air Force to engage in multiple multinational exercises and operational deployments to include Baltic Air Policing and Operation Inherent Resolve.

“The Polish F-16 program is a critical asset providing stability in the Central-Eastern Europe region and protecting the air domain of the NATO east flank,” added Pogorzelski, “The fleet is fully operational and ready to fulfill all required tasks on behalf of Poland and NATO alliance.”

Behind the scenes of the Polish F-16 FMS program, there’s a combined effort between the Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation Directorate (AFSAC), F-16 Program Office, F-16 defense contractor Lockheed Martin, and other U.S. entities supporting the partnership between the United States and Poland. 

“Supporting our allies is a team effort,” said Kevin Jones, F-16 Poland Security Assistance Program Manager. “The close security cooperation partnership between our two countries, and the exceptional support we continue to receive across the acquisition, test, and sustainment enterprise made this milestone possible.” 

U.S. FMS programs like the Polish F-16 play a very important role in the U.S. national defense strategy. 

“Delivering airpower capabilities that strengthen international partnerships and advance military interoperability is a pillar of the U.S. national defense strategy and the mission of AFSAC,” emphasized Brig. Gen. Brian Bruckbauer, director of AFSAC.