In 2001, 1.elt was formed and was based at Miñsk Mazowieck, with its resident 23.BLot. This squadron inherited the traditions of 7 and 111 squadron of World War II fame. Since its inception the squadron has participated in many national and international exercises. Primary task of the squadron is air defense of Polish and NATO airspace, especially around the capital Warszawa. The squadron is fully prepared to cooperate with the air forces of NATO countries. As such, it was the first Polish squadron responsible for the military surveillance of the airspaces of the Baltic States (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) under the Polish Military Contingent "Orlik” between January and March 2006. The first exercise under new command was held in 2001 and was called Exercise Sentry White Eagle. Participating forces, next to 1.elt, included F-15s of 173rd FW/Oregon ANG. Purpose of the exercise was to plan and execute tasking orders in accordance with NATO procedures, especially regarding air policing tasks. Many exercises were attended to improve and consolidate experience and to train according these NATO procedures. In June 2006, the unit participated in Clean Hunter to improve cooperation between NATO forces. Also based at Miñsk Mazowiecki is the SAR unit 2.grp. This unit also receives its share in attending exercises. In 2009, exercise Esculap-2009 was held to train in mass-casualty scenarios. Participants, next to the resident 2.grp, were Polish Military Medical Services, Czech and Slovak forces. Another participant was182nd AW/Illinois ANG who brought two C-130H Hercules transport configured for MEDEVAC flights. After 2012, a wing structure has been installed and the squadron will be assigned to 23. Baza Lotnicza Taktycznego.
With its west-east orientated runway, the airfield has is excellent location-wise for the photographers. The runways are a bit inward from the fences but the sun is always at your back. The airfield has a large and densely wooded area around the base so there are only a few spots for spotting aircraft on base.
The airfield is located 45 km east of Warsaw, north of the E30. This road is indicated on the signs as road 2, in red, from Warsaw to Terespol. The airfield is very close to the road and can be seen by its hangars and tower.
Around the Airport
Driving on the E30/route 2 coming from Warsaw you will pass through the city of Minsk Mazowiecki. Here, take the road towards Stara Niedzialka. When in this small town, take the road Lotniskowa to the right. This road will lead towards the extended runway. Park your car and position yourself. Halfway this road you also has a good view onto the westerly flightline and shelter area.
While driving on the 2/E30 you will pass the airport at your left. There are some roads into a small village with farms. Thereafter there is dirt road to the left called Ul. Ignacow. Drive into this road and settle yourself near the approach path.
For relaxed spotting this is the spot used by the locals. From Minsk Mazowiecki go north to Jakubow. At the village of Stara Niedzialka take a right onto the Ul. Lotniskowa to have a good view of the landing traffic although at a distance.
For relaxed spotting with westerly landings you could use this spot. From the E30 at the east side go north towards Jakubow. After passing some houses you have a good view of landing traffic, again at a distance.
For spotting the aircraft at the east aprons go to this spot. Drive towards Jakubow. From the village of Jakubow go south towards Brozowka. Drive towards the airport to find a crash gate with a view.
With a bit of a walk, Spot 1 offers good photo possibilities as shown by this MiG-29 of 1.elt. Photo Piet Luijken
Also taken from spot 1, this TS-11 shows its wonderful camouflage colour scheme. It belongs to 41.elt and was temporary deployed. Photo Piet Luijken