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Poland operates F-16s from roadway for first time

A Polish Air Force F-16D touches down on a 2 km stretch of Route 604 on 25 September, marking a first for the type in national service and a return to roadway operations for the service for the first time in 20 years. (General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces)

Poland operated its Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft from a public roadway for the first time during exercises on 25 September.

The event took place on a 2 km closed-off section of the Route 604 national highway between the towns of Ruskowo and Przeździał Wielki in the northeast of the country, and marked the start of a series of such exercises involving the F-16 and MiG-29 ‘Fulcrum' fighter that will run through to 3 October.

As well as being a first for Poland's F-16 force, the roadway exercise marks a return to dispersed operations for the Polish Air Force –known officially as the Air Force Inspectorate (Inspektorat Sił Powietrznych: ISP) – for the first time in over 20 years.

The ISP fields 36 single-seat F-16C Block 52+ and 12 twin-seat F-16D Block 52+ aircraft operated out of Poznan-Krzesiny Airbase by 3rd Aviation Squadron, 6th Aviation Squadron, and 10th Tactical Aviation Squadron from the 2nd Tactical Aviation Wing. It also fields an unknown number of MiG-29s (Janes World Air Forces lists seven single-seat ‘Fulcrum-A' and six twin-seat ‘Fulcrum-B' aircraft in the inventory, although an undisclosed number have recently been donated to Ukraine) flown out of Malbork Airbase by the 1st Tactical Aviation Squadron of the 1st Tactical Aviation Wing.

The roadway exercises involved the 4th Aviation Training Wing headquartered at Dęblin and the 2nd Tactical Aviation Wing headquartered at Poznań.

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