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Pilots from the Illinois Air National Guard’s 182nd Airlift Wing taxi their C-130 Hercules at Powidz AB, Poland, Oct. 20, 2014. Air Force photo by SSgt. Christopher Ruano.

​Air National Guard C-130s rotated to the Aviation Detachment at Powidz AB, Poland, for the first time to begin exercises with the Polish air force this month, according to an Air Force release. Three C-130Hs from the Illinois ANG's 182nd Airlift Wing based in Peoria along with some 50 pilots, maintainers, and support personnel, deployed to Poland on Oct. 10, wing spokesman TSgt. Todd Pendleton told Air Force Magazine. Until now, C-130Js from Ramstein AB, Germany, have supported the bulk of AvDet airlift rotations. "As Poland's state partner, the Illinois ANG airmen continue to deepen established relationships and build partner capacity between US and Polish forces," said Lt. Col. Jack Harman, commander of the 52nd Operations Group Det. 1, which oversees the AvDet. "NATO's interoperability is key to the strength of the Alliance," he said. Illinois C-130s will wrap-up their three-week rotation to Powidz on Nov. 1, said Pendleton. (See also Looking East from the September 2014 issue of Air Force Magazine.)