10th Tactical Aviation Squadron in Łask. 2001-2010

Łask 2012-06-12

10th Tactical Aviation Squadron in Łask.


32nd Air Base in Łask.

MiG-21 M nb 2003. 2021 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
MiG-21 M nb 2003. 2021 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

Photo description: There is the emblem of the 10th Tactical Aviation Squadron on the fuselage of the plane.

Emblem of the 10th Tactical Aviation Squadron. 2000-2010. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
Emblem of the 10th Tactical Aviation Squadron. 2000-2010. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

Emblem 32 BLot Łask 2000-2010. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
Emblem 32 BLot Łask 2000-2010. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman


The history of the 10th ELT at the Łask Airport began with the construction of an airport near the town of Łask and the formation of the 31st Fighter Aviation Regiment there, which was formed at the Bemowo Airport (1951), based on the staff of the 1st PLM. In 1958, the 31st PLM was transformed into the 31st Aviation Training and Combat Regiment. The 31st LPSzk-B unit was disbanded in 1963, and planes from the disbanded 2nd PLM from Kraków-Czyżyny were brought to Łask Airport. At that time, the 2nd PLM was a combination of personnel and equipment from the 31st LPSzk-B and the 2nd PLM. In 1968, the regiment in Łask was renamed the 10th PLM (to emphasize the Soviet roots of the Polish Unit, which saw combat during World War II). 10. PLM operated until December 31, 2000, i.e. for over 30 years.

10th Fighter Aviation Squadron and 32nd Air Base.

As a result of structural transformations, and primarily the accession of the Republic of Poland to NATO, on December 31, 2000, the 10th PLM was disbanded. In its place, the 10th Tactical Aviation Squadron and the 32nd Air Base were established. The date of establishment of these units is January 1, 2001. The newly established units were subordinated to the 3rd Air Defense Corps with command in Wrocław, and after its dissolution, they were subordinated to the 2nd Tactical Aviation Wing with command in Poznań.

This was based on the Decision of the Minister of National Defense of October 3, 2000, regarding organizational changes in the Air Force and Air Defense. On November 29, 2000, the commander of the 3rd Air Defense Corps issued an order No. Pf-84 ordering the implementation of the decision of the Ministry of National Defense.

On January 1, 2001, the 10th ELT (tactical aviation squadron) was formed. The Squadron was operationally ready on March 31, 2001. Until 2003, it was equipped with MiG-21 aircraft, later with TS-11 Iskra training and combat aircraft, and from autumn 2008, with modern multi-role F-16. The 10th ELT was a unit intended to combat air, ground and surface objects and to perform other operational, tactical and reconnaissance fire tasks.

The 10th ELT unit inherited the traditions of the 10th PLM. In December 2000, it was subordinated to the 2nd Tactical Aviation Brigade. It still had MiG-21 MF fighter planes, which were nearing the end of their service life. Until January 2003, the unit maintained a combat duty pair in combat readiness, participating in the NATINADS combat duty system.

A few words about the base number (32 BLot). When in the 1990s, discussions took place regarding the accession of the Republic of Poland to NATO, it was known that in addition to benefits, there were also obligations. One of them was the possession of 60 modern multi-role combat aircraft by the Polish Military Aviation. Three modern air bases had to be built for them, which would meet NATO standards. The Ministry of National Defense decided to thoroughly modernize three existing airports (bases). The following airports were chosen; Krzesiny, Łask, Powidz. They received new numbers accordingly; 31, 32, 33. This numbering exists until now (2024) even though transport planes are stationed in Powidz. The reason for this was the purchase of 48 multi-role combat aircraft, not 60 units. (We were allowed to include MiG-29 planes acquired from the German army in our firepower). All F-16 Jastrząbs were gathered in three squadrons; 3, 6, 10 ELT and 2 bases; 31, 32 BLot.

The unit of the 32nd Air Base was established on January 1, 2001. The main task of the base was to secure the training of independent air squadrons, in particular the 10th ELT permanently stationed in Łask, as well as to secure the activities of allied troops. Formally, the 32nd BLot did not inherit the traditions of any military formations, but there was always a strong bond with previous units. The 32nd Air Base operated within the structures and played an important role in the implementation of the tasks faced by the Air Force and Air Defense, which changed its name to the Polish Air Force.

In 2001, 38 founders and sponsors from the society of Łask and the Łódź region funded a banner for the 32nd BLot, whose godparents were Mrs. E. Dziuba-Tuszyńska and Mr. J. Pieniążek. The banner was presented on September 30, 2001.

In the period from May 2001 to July 2002, two squadrons (3 and 10 ELT) operated from Łask Airport, because Krzesiny Airport was under renovation.

In the period 2001-2003, the base was subordinated to the 3rd KOP (Air Defense Corps) Wrocław, then to the 2nd BLT (Tactical Aviation Brigade) Poznań, renamed in 2009 to the 2nd SLT (Tactical Aviation Wing).

Until 2003, the tasks were performed using MiG-21 MF / UM aircraft. Since 2003, pilots have been preparing to adopt new multi-role aircraft, the F-16 Jastrząb type. The main forces of the 10th ELT underwent training in the USA and Poland, at the Krzesiny Airport.

The adaptation of the Military Airport in Łask to NATO needs in 2003 was a great success. The unit was responsible for securing the training and combat operations of air squadrons both in the defense system of the Republic of Poland and in the air defense system of the North Atlantic Alliance. Three squadrons play an essential role at the 32nd Air Base: command, security and technical. The forces and resources located in the command division were used to ensure continuity of command and flight insurance, as well as the protection and defense of the 32nd Air Base.

When MiG-21 aircraft were withdrawn from the Air Force's equipment in 2003, for the next four years the squadron operated TS-11 Iskra training and combat aircraft. Using these machines, she conducted training activities. On January 24, 2003, a farewell ceremony for the MiG-21 aircraft took place at the Łask airport. MiG-21 fighter planes have been hosted in Łask since 1968, i.e. 35 years.

MiG-21 MF nb 6504. 2019 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
MiG-21 MF nb 6504. 2019 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

Photo description: MiG-21 MF nb 6504 fighter aircraft, used in the 10th ELT in Łask. The squadron's emblem is visible on the fuselage.

Granting a banner and adopting the traditions of historical units.

Decision No. 94/MON of the Minister of National Defense of April 10, 2003, regarding the takeover of the banner and heritage of the tradition of the 10th Fighter Aviation Regiment by the 10th Tactical Aviation Squadron in Łask and the establishment of the annual Day of the 10th Tactical Aviation Squadron.

In connection with the disbandment of the 10th Fighter Aviation Regiment, in order to preserve the military traditions of this unit, on the basis of the Act of February 19, 1993, on the symbols of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland (Journal of Laws No. 34, item 154 and of 1995 No. 150, item 731), art. 2 section 1 of the Act of July 30, 1992, on the establishment of the Polish Army Day (Journal of Laws No. 60, item 303) and the provisions of Order No. 1/MON of the Minister of National Defense of January 2, 1991 on the inheritance and cultivation of the tradition of weapons Polish (Journal of Laws of the Ministry of National Defence, item 1), the following is established: 1- The banner of the 10th Fighter Aviation Regiment is transferred to the 10th Tactical Aviation Squadron in Łask. 2- 10 Tactical Aviation Squadron: takes over the heritage and honorably continues the traditions of the 10th Fighter Aviation Regiment, namely: 10th Fighter Aviation Regiment (1944-1945), 2nd Fighter Aviation Regiment (1946-1962), 31st Combat Training Regiment (1957-1962) ), 10th Fighter Aviation Regiment (1963-2000). The unit's holiday was set for September 23.

A few words of subjective commentary; At that time, the Minister of National Defense was Jerzy Szmajdziński, a communist who tragically died in the Smolensk attack on April 10, 2010. His list of inherited traditions lacks the 31st Fighter Aviation Regiment (1951-1957) Łask. Could it be a desire to erase this unit from memory due to the pilot's desertion?

In our opinion, the decision should look like this; By decision No. 94/MON of April 10, 2003, 10 ELT inherited the traditions of the following units: 10th Fighter Aviation Regiment (1944 - 1946). 2nd Fighter Aviation Regiment (1946 - 1963) Czyżyny. 31st Fighter Aviation Regiment (1951-1958) Łask. 31st Aviation Training and Combat Regiment (1958-1963) Łask. 2nd Fighter Aviation Regiment (1963 - 1967) Łask. 10th Fighter Aviation Regiment OPK (1967 - 1991) Łask. 10th Fighter Aviation Regiment (1991 - 2000) Łask.

Expansion of the airport in Łask. 2003.

Since 2003, when it was decided that modern F-16 Jastrząb multi-role aircraft would be based at Łask Airport. The airport was modified, which began in the spring of 2005. Over the course of several years, the infrastructure was modernized here, including the construction of new shelters and hangars, the modernization of the runway, the air traffic control tower, the military fire station, the flight simulator building and various types of storage rooms.

In December 2004, the construction of a new aircraft centering zone began, located in the north-western part of Łask Airport, equipped with 16 HAS shelters and hangars.

All these facilities and other buildings created comfortable working conditions for the technical, flight security and insurance staff, and of course for the pilots and controllers themselves. The overall effort and considerable financial resources that went into the renovation of Łask Airport are definitely visible. The very location of the airport puts it among the top military airports in the Republic of Poland. Adapting the Łask Airport to accept the F-16 Jastrząb cost taxpayers PLN 840 million.

On March 23, 2004, the duties of the Base Commander were transferred. The duties were transferred to its first Commander, Col. pilot Dariusz Pacek, and was taken over by Lt. Col. Dipl. pilot Adam Świerkocz. The base is closely linked to the region in which it is stationed. The command and staff maintain contacts with authorities, administrative, social and cultural institutions, schools and workplaces in the region.

In May 2004, the 10th ELT took part in the Poland Hawk 2004 exercise, during which British Hawk T.1 training aircraft from the 100th Squadron of the UK Air Force were hosted at Łask Airport. Polish pilots flew them and became familiar with the procedures in force in NATO.

In September 2004, the 1st Aviation Picnic was held at Łask Airport.

In September 2004, the 32nd BLot and 10th ELT took part in the Sentry White Falcon 2004 exercise. The exercise involved joint flights with Yankee F-16 aircraft from the 182nd Fighter Squadron of the Texas Air National Guard and German Tornado IDS aircraft. From the Polish side, mainly MiG-29 aircraft from 1 ELT and Su-22 from 7 ELT participated in the exercise. It was an exercise partially preparing the Polish Air Force for the adoption of F-16 Jastrząb aircraft, which was to take place in two years.

In July 2005, the 32nd BLot was transferred from the 3rd Army Corps to the 2nd Tactical Aviation Brigade.

On September 10, 2005, the 2nd Aviation Picnic was organized.

In 2005, the 10th ELT participated in exercises; Poland Hawk 2005, Clean Hunter, Fruit Fly, Orlik and Zefir.

On September 9, 2006, the third Łask-Buczek International Air Picnic was held at the 32nd Air Base. The static exhibition was attended by numerous guests (according to police reports, the event was visited by over 60,000 people). In addition to a large number of Iskiers (with 10 and 3 ELT), viewers could also see a Hawk T.1A from 100 sqn RAF, a Tornado IDS from JBG 31 representing the German army, 2 F-16 CJ based in Spangdahlem (with 22 FS 52 FW USAF), as well as the MiG-21 UM formerly operated by the 10th ELT, and previously by the 10th PLM. Visitors could also see a pair of Su-22 M4s from the 7th ELT and an M-28 B from the 13th ELT.

Unfortunately, some of the flight demonstrations were more modest than last year. The White and Red Sparks show was canceled because one of the planes had a technical failure. Only one Iskra was demonstrated in the air in a solo show, piloted by colonel pilot Wojciech Krupa, commander of the 31st BLot Krzesina, and at the same time pilot of the Żelazny team and Polish Champion in airplane acrobatics in 2006. There was also no solo demonstration of the MiG-29 aircraft. However, viewers had the opportunity to see in the air the An-26 transport plane from the 13th ELTr, whose days in the Polish Army were coming to an end, arriving at the airport. Sightseeing flights were very popular. The event was accompanied by additional attractions in the form of various artistic performances that lasted until late in the evening.

From October 1, 2006, the commander of the 10th Tactical Aviation Squadron was Lt. Col. Dipl. pilot Dariusz Malinowski.

In 2006, modernization works at the airport were already very advanced. The base was developing and it was known that over the next 5 years it would need about 600 new specialist soldiers. To begin with, demand has already been reported for 167 people, highly educated specialists. Personnel were sought among former conscript soldiers (reservists), as well as among the staff of other aviation units. In addition to the typical aircraft specialization, specialists were sought in radiolocation, anti-aircraft defense and security of military facilities (including airport guards). Such a dynamic development of the airport was previously recorded at the end of the 60s, when MiG-21 planes entered service.

So, about 600 new families will need housing. This presented a difficult task to the Polish Army and the authorities of the City of Łask. By the end of 2006, three new blocks of flats (for PLN 17 million) were completed and inhabited by 100 families. In 2008, two more blocks were completed (for PLN 13 million), inhabited by another 64 families.

In order not to paralyze the development of the Base, the Army also took into account the temporary rental of apartments in the area up to 50 km away. Despite the difficulties in locating further housing blocks, they will be built anyway, because problems are there to be solved.

F-16 Jastrząb begins operation. 2008.

Lockheed Martin F-16 C Block 52+ nb 4048. 2007 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
Lockheed Martin F-16 C Block 52+ nb 4048. 2007 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

At the end of 2006, all TS-11 Iskra aircraft were withdrawn from the 10th ELT and transferred to the School in Dęblin. The 10th ELT was practically stationed at Krzesiny Airport, training on F-16 Jastrząb aircraft. On August 23, 2007, the first F-16 D intended for the 10th ELT landed at Krzesiny Airport. The next F-16D arrived in November 2007. The first F-16 C Jastrząb for the 10th ELT was delivered from the USA to Krzesiny Airport on February 17, 2008. The last F-16 D was delivered in May 2008.

One of the F-16 C planes was flown across the Atlantic Ocean by the commander of the 10th ELT, pilot lieutenant colonel Dariusz Malinowski. Few people remember that pilot lieutenant colonel Dariusz Malinowski, along with pilot colonel Rościsław Stepaniuk, was one of the few Poles who crossed the Atlantic in a single-seat plane.

The 10th ELT, with F-16 Jastrząb aircraft, arrived in Łask in 2008. On October 3, 2008, the 32nd BLot hosted a reception ceremony for F-16 Jastrząb aircraft, which have been stationed at Łask Airport since that day. The ceremony was attended by Zenon Kosiniak-Kamysz, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of National Defence, Commander of the Air Force, Lt. Gen. Pil. Andrzej Błasik, commander of the 2nd Tactical Aviation Brigade, Brig. Gen. pil. Włodzimierz Usarek and the management staff of the 32nd BLot and 10th ELT, Field Bishop of the Polish Army Tadeusz Płoski and the commander of the 2nd Tactical Aviation Brigade, General Włodzimierz Usarek. They arrived in Łask by plane Jak-40 nb 044.

The celebrations began at 11:00. A flag party consisting of three ladies in aviation uniforms emerged from the formation and the White and Red flag was hoisted to the sounds of the national anthem. Then, the commander of the 2nd Tactical Aviation Brigade, General Usarek, spoke. – Today's ceremonial assembly is of a special nature – emphasized the importance of the event, the brigade commander. – The 10th Tactical Aviation Squadron and the 32nd Air Base are starting training activities at the Łask airport, which was put into operation a few days ago, after two years of modernization works. F-16 multi-role planes will land here soon. With their landing, the Air Force is entering the next stage of aviation training, thus meeting the expectations of the North Atlantic Alliance, said General Usarek. He briefly recalled the history of military aviation in Łask. The representative company and orchestra of the Polish Air Force, as well as students from Dęblin, performed. Before the arrival of the Hawks, the White and Red Sparks demonstrated in the air, with white and red smoke being sprayed.

The first three F-16s appeared at 12:14. The leading plane was piloted by the commander of the 10th ELT, Lt. Col. Dipl. pilot Dariusz Malinowski. The next two planes appeared at 12:15 and the last four at 12:16. The pilots flew over the airport on afterburners, then departed and diverged for landing. And so, at 12:17, the first Polish F-16 C nb 4064 landed at Łask Airport. Then, it was followed by the landing of eight more F-16s. After landing, 7 aircraft taxied along the RWY (the taxiway was occupied) to take their places on the apron. Those gathered at the base were presented with the profiles of nine pilots of the 10th ELT who landed in Łask that day. One of them was the squadron commander, Lt. Col. Pil. Dariusz Malinowski, who reported to the minister.

Then, the Field Bishop of the Polish Army, Lieutenant General Tadeusz Płoski (who died in the Smolensk attack on April 10, 2010), assisted by the Evangelical and Orthodox deans of the Air Force, made an ecumenical consecration of the airport infrastructure and aircraft.

The next point of the ceremony were the speeches. The following spoke: Minister Zenon Kosiniak-Kamysz and the commander of the Air Force, Lt. Gen. Pil. Andrzej Błasik. Minister Kosiniak-Kamysz expressed his satisfaction with the fact of participating in a momentous and groundbreaking event, which is the adoption of F-16 Jastrząb multi-role aircraft, one of the most modern of this type in the world, to equip the base and squadron. As he said, the start of operation of aircraft in Łask closes a certain stage of work related to the technical modernization of the Polish Army, but is also the beginning of the next stage. – Today is also the day when a new stage begins for the Air Force stationed in the Łódź region – said the minister. He emphasized the participation and determination of many teams of people whose joint work resulted in a successful celebration. – I would like to congratulate everyone and express my sincere thanks – said Zenon Kosiniak-Kamysz at the end of his speech, wishing the pilots success in training, satisfaction with their service and work, fulfillment of their professional plans and all the best.

General Andrzej Błasik began his speech by reminding that many important and glorious events took place in the 90-year history of Polish Military Aviation. – The Air Force is currently undergoing the greatest transformation since the post-war expansion, related to the process of introducing jet-powered combat aircraft into service. Currently, the dramatic increase in combat capabilities, after significant reductions and reductions in quantity that occurred in the 1990s and the upcoming full professionalization of the army, is achieved only through qualitative changes. It is safe to say that today's ceremony - the handover of the first nine multi-role F-16 aircraft to the 32nd Air Base - is just such an event - said the commander. He described the possibility of aviation training on modern combat aircraft, such as Jastrzębie, as a historic breakthrough. – Equipping our air force with the latest generation aircraft is the most important step in the modernization process of the Air Force – said General Andrzej Błasik. He assured that he would make every effort to ensure that the implementation process of Polski Jastrzębie is completed on time. – Our priority will be the implementation and training of the multi-role F-16 aircraft, he said.

The general addressed his last words to his subordinates, pilots of the 32nd Air Base and the 10th ELT in Łask, who had undergone intensive training in connection with the operation of the new type of aircraft. – I would like to thank you all very much for your great commitment in acquiring new knowledge and skills – the commander said to them. He wished them and their families happiness and success in their professional and personal lives. – May planes taking off from here always land safely after completing their tasks – concluded General Andrzej Błasik.

After the speeches, the orders of the commander of the Air Force, the commander of the 2nd Tactical Aviation Brigade and the 32nd Air Base were read, under which distinctions, awards and commemorative medals were awarded to soldiers and military employees of the Łask base and squadron. The awards were presented by Minister Zenon Kosiniak-Kamysz, accompanied by General Andrzej Błasik and General Włodzimierz Usarek. The orchestra performed the Representative Song of the Polish Army and the units regrouped for the parade. The Air Force Representative Band from Bytom, the Air Force Representative Company from Dęblin and units from the 32nd Air Base and the 10th ELT marched in front of the honorary tribune, led by the ceremony commander.

This marked the end of the official ceremony, and elements of the airport infrastructure and aircraft, including the F-16, were made available for viewing by the guests gathered at the base. A short press briefing was held at one of them. The base also hosted a stand of the Air Force Officers' College and the General Aviation Secondary School in Dęblin, promoting professional military service related to the professionalization of the army. Refreshments with military pea soup and a tour of the 32nd BLot were prepared for the official guests. The celebrations ended around 4 p.m.

A total of 9 F-16 aircraft arrived in Łask. The C version featured seven aircraft with tactical numbers: 4060, 4064, 4065, 4066, 4067, 4068, 4069 and two D version aircraft with tactical numbers: 4085 and 4086.

Ultimately, the unit (10th ELT) will consist of 16 aircraft of this type, whose main task will be to perform air reconnaissance using DB-110 pods. For the next few weeks, F-16 Jastrząb 3 ELT and 6 ELT will also be stationed in Łask, which are permanently based at the Poznań-Krzesiny Airport. The reason for their visit is the renovation of the DS and DK surfaces at the Poznań base.

32nd Air Force, commanded by Col. pil. Dr. Władysław Leśnikowski, was one of the most modern NATO bases in Europe.

More years of service.

On September 5, 2009, another Aviation Picnic was held at the Airport. It was the fourth such event, the aim of which was to maintain beautiful aviation traditions and present the Polish Air Force. The picnic began at 10:00 a.m. with a field mass. The biggest attraction was the most modern F-16 Jastrząb multi-role combat aircraft in the Polish Air Force, stationed at the 32nd Air Base. Picnic participants also saw artistic performances by foreign and local bands, as well as: modeling shows, an amusement park, catering and exhibition stands, games, fun, competitions with prizes, presentations of Fiat, Toyota and other car models, a fashion show, and a fire dance. , fireworks display and bicycle display.

The main attractions of Saturday's event were the official unveiling of an over 2-meter-high model of the F-16 aircraft and a display of military equipment and equipment at the base. According to the organizers, throughout the day the military event will be accompanied by sightseeing flights conducted by flying clubs from Częstochowa, Łódź, Wrocław and Piotrków. Unfortunately, no flights of F-16 aircraft or other military machines stationed in Łask are planned.

Picnic plan: 10:00 – Holy Mass for the units of the Łask Garrison; 10:00 – Autumn shooting of the Łaski Brotherhood of Riflemen; 12:00 – Official opening of the picnic by the Commander of the 32nd Air Base; 12:20 – Unveiling of the F-16 aircraft model and dynamic display of military equipment; 12:00 – 20:00 – Accompanying events, including: band performances, amusement park, static exhibition of historical and currently used aircraft; 14:00 – Shooting competition for the 32nd Air Base Commander's Cup; 17:30 – Presentation of prizes to competition participants; 18:00 – Kasia Kowalska's concert; 20:00 - ceremonial ending of the picnic by the Commander of 32 Blot.

10 ELT in Łask awarded the titles of Pilot of 2009 and Technician of 2009. The honorable title of Pilot of the Year 2009 was awarded to Capt. pil. Norbert Chojnacki and senior warrant officer Andrzej Włudyga were honored with the title of Technician of the Year.

2010 year.

At the turn of 2009-2010, structural changes took place. The 32nd Air Force was transformed into the 32nd Tactical Air Base. The 10th ELT was transformed into a subunit subordinate to the 32nd BLotT and received the designation of the 1st Squadron of the Air Action Group in the 32nd BLotT.

Commanders of the 10th ELT:

Lt. Col. Dipl. pil. Krzysztof Szubert (January 1, 2001 – July 2003), Lt. Col. pil. Dariusz Malinowski (07/2003 - 02/2004), various officers performing duties (February 2004 - April 2005), Lt. Col. M.Phil. Bogusław Skrabut (04/2005 – 12/2006), Lt. Col. Dipl. pil. Dariusz Malinowski (12/2006 – December 2009).

Commanders of the 32nd BLot:

colonel pil. Dariusz PACEK 1/01/2001-March 2004, colonel pil. Adam ŚWIERKOCZ March 2004-May 2006, colonel pil. Arkadiusz PALUSZYŃSKI May 2006-July 2007, colonel pil. Władysław LEŚNIKOWSKI July 2007 - December 31, 2009 Address: ul. 9 Maja, 98-100 Łask, tel. 043-6764830. 32. Łask AIR BASE 2000-2010 (JW 1158). 10. TACTICAL AVIATION SQUADRON Łask 2000-2010 (JW 1457).

Written by Karol Placha Hetman