Poland marks Air Force Day
PR dla Zagranicy
A series of commemorative events to honour Poland's Air Force and mark 10 years since the deployment of F-16 fighter planes in the country have been held at the Krzesiny air base, near the west-central city of Poznań.
General Jan Śliwka and President Andrzej Duda review troops during commemorative events at the Krzesiny military base. Photo: PAP/Jakub Kaczmarczyk
After a special mass, Polish President Andrzej Duda unveiled a commemorative plaque to Polish Air Force commanding general Stanisław Targosz, President Lech Kaczyński and his wife Maria Kaczyńska.
Also, a monument to Targosz's successor Andrzej Błasik, commander of Poland’s air force, who was killed in the 2010 crash of the presidential plane in Smolensk, was unveiled by the President.
Duda said at the ceremony that the acqusition of F-16 fighters marked a huge step for the Polish Army, which "entered an entirely new phase of development".
The President added that late general Targosz "was a great supporter of the purchase."
An air show to mark Polish Air Force Day took place at noon, with F-16 and MIG-26 fighter jets taking to the skies.
As part of the celebrations, Poznań’s Freedom Square will host a concert of military bands on Saturday evening.
Polish Air Force Day has been established to mark the anniversary of the victory of the famous pilots Franciszek Żwirko and Stanisław Wigura in the prestigious Challenge Cup in 1932 and 1934 on a plane of Polish construction, the RWD-6. (ał)