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Polish Air Force recognizes C-130 maintainers for quick assistance
Polish Air Force Colonel Andrzej Kusnierek, International Security Assistance Force Regional Command-East deputy commanding general for coalition forces, addresses a group of 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron personnel at a ceremony on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Jan. 3, 2013. Kusnierek thanked the maintainers for helping to replace a propeller on a Polish C-130 aircraft.(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Gary J. Rihn/Released)
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Polish Air Force recognizes C-130 maintainers for quick assistance

Posted 1/3/2014   Updated 1/3/2014 Email story   Print story

    


by Senior Master Sgt. Gary J. Rihn
455 Air Expeditionary Wing/Public Affairs


1/3/2014 - BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan  -- Stepping up to offer assistance to an ally can sometimes bring unexpected rewards.

Recently, a group of Airmen from the 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan had the opportunity to strengthen an alliance with the Polish Air Force, when a Polish C-130 aircraft developed a problem with one of its propellers.

The Polish contingent needed assistance to deal with the faulty propeller, so they reached out to their American counterparts.

On short notice, a team of aircraft maintainers worked on the Polish aircraft, swapped the leaking propeller for a new one, and allowed the Polish group to get their aircraft back into action quickly.

"I was happy that the prop change went off as quickly as it did," said Staff Sgt. Daniel McGrew, one of the maintainers involved in the job.

As the 455th maintainers did their work, they worked together with the Polish aircrew, who performed the run up and operations checks.

"It was really interesting talking with the aircrew as we worked," said Master Sgt. James Simmons.

After the aircraft was returned to flying duty, the Polish Air Force wanted to thank the American maintainers for responding so quickly. To show his appreciation, Polish Air Force Colonel Andrzej Kusnierek, International Security Assistance Force Regional Command-East deputy commanding general for coalition forces, presented eight of the 455th EAMXS workers with certificates of appreciation and small gifts in a ceremony conducted in the Bagram C-130 hangar.

All agreed that it was a rewarding and unique experience, and one that they were happy to have participated in.

"It was really cool; not every day do you receive appreciation from a foreign military officer. This is a great story to take home from my deployment," said Senior Airman Arianna Banks.

After the ceremony, U.S. Air Force Colonel Raymond Strasburger, 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Chief of Staff, addressed the maintainers, saying "The Polish military is a valuable ally. What you did was a huge coalition building effort."



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1/4/2014 12:20:01 PM ET
MY BROTHER JOSH CRAIGO NEVER CEASES TO MAKE ME HIS FAMILY AND COUNTRY PROUD...WE LOVE YOU JOSH GREAT THANKS TO YOU AND YOUR SQUADRONS CONTINUED DEDICATION TO OUR COUNTRY SEE YOU SOON
CRYSTAL NEAL, FOUNTAIN INN SC
 
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