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First they did not reach, then they disturbed the residents. 15 years ago, the first F-16 fighters landed in Poland

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There are 48 of them and most of them are stationed in Poznań. It was the capital of Greater Poland that was the first home for American F-16 fighters purchased for the Polish army. The first two machines landed exactly 15 years ago.

The first F-16 fighters landed in Poland in November 2006. It was not without adventures. The first pair of fighters was to arrive in Poznań on November 6. Did not work. The planes took off from Texas as planned, but had to make an emergency landing at the American Maine base. All because of the refueling problem.

Another attempt was unsuccessful – the planes, however, reached Europe – this time they landed in Iceland. The next day another setback – landing in Scotland. Finally, on November 8, they landed in Poland.

– We had a few problems with refueling. We removed them and had to make sure everything was working well. Hence the delay, explained Michael Mayer, Commander of the 183rd Fighter Wing of the US Air Force.


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Their landing was a great event not only for Poznań, but all of Poland.

She named him “Hawk”

On November 9, at the airport in Krzesiny, planes welcomed, among others President Lech Kaczyński with his wife and Minister of National Defense Radosław Sikorski. the latter was simply overflowing with the new acquisition of the Polish army. – He shot down 70 enemy machines, he himself has not been shot down – he emphasized.

The first lady became the godmother of airplanes. – Fly safely, glorify the Polish aviation. I give you the name “Hawk” – said Maria Kaczyńska during the symbolic blessing of the first two fighters.

“I call you Hawk.” The first lady sacrificed the Polish F-16 (material from 2006)08.11.TVN facts

Captain Robert Gałązka was the first to sit at the controls of the Polish F-16. – I remember these events very vividly. It was a great honor and I am proud of it. I am trying to pay off this debt as best as I can by training more pilots – he said in 2015.


Residents complained about the noise

However, not everyone liked the new planes. The inhabitants of Krzesiny, Głuszyn Minikowo and Starołęka, i.e. the districts of Poznań closest to the airport, which became their base, did not hide their dissatisfaction.

– There is a terrible noise when they fly here – said one of the inhabitants. And as part of the protest, banners with slogans such as “F-16 = death of the estate”, “Not an F-16 base”, “Down with noise” began to appear on nearby houses.

Residents protest against the location of the baseTVN facts

However, the location of the base has not been changed. Despite the fact that after five years, the Supreme Audit Office decided that the first fighter base in Krzesiny was created without legal and environmental analyzes.

48 “Hawks”

F-16 fighters are used by the air force of 26 countries. The Polish air fleet has 48 such machines. The last ones came to Poland in December 2008, 32 of them are stationed in Poznań-Krzesiny, the remaining 16 in Łask near Łódź.

8 years of the F-16 base in Krzesiny in Poznań

8 years of the F-16 base in Krzesiny in Poznań (material from 2014)09.11. | It was a great event not only for Poznań, but all of Poland and even this part of Europe. On November 9, 2006, the first two F16 planes landed at the Krzesiny airport. They were welcomed by President Lech Kaczyński with his wife and Minister of National Defense Radosław Sikorski. The F16 fleet has grown significantly since then. – We currently have 48 F-16s. 36 of them are stationed at the 31st Tactical Air Base in Krzesiny and 12 in Łask – enumerates Col. Grzegorz Ślusarz, head of the training of the 2nd Tactical Aviation Wing.TVN 24 Poznań

The decision to choose these machines was made in December 2002, when Jerzy Szmajdziński (SLD) was the Minister of Defense.

Main photo source: TVN archive 24

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