31st Air Base
The 31st Air Base (Polish: 31. Baza Lotnicza) is a Polish Air Force base, located in Krzesiny, part of the Nowe Miasto district of Poznań. It is the first base to host the recently acquired F-16 fighters.
The base was officially constituted on 31 December 2000, and since then has been the home base for the 3rd Tactical Squadron.
In 1941, during its occupation of Poznań, Nazi Germany built an aircraft factory at Krzesiny (German: Luftwaffenfliegerhorst Kreising), along with an airfield to service it. The factory, run by Focke-Wulf, was a target for Allied bombers in the course of the war, on 29 May 1944 for Eighth Air Force. On 22 January 1945 the airfield was captured by Red Army and taken over by the Soviet Air Force, which in turn passed it to the Polish military in 1954, which has used it since, hosting various units under changing designations:
- since 1954: one of squadrons of 11th Fighter Regiment (11. Pułk Lotnictwa Myśliwskiego) that was in this same year transformed to 62nd School-Training Fighter Regiment (62. Pułk Szkolno-Treningowy Lotnictwa Myśliwskiego) which was part of 3rd Air Defence Corps (3. Korpus Obrony Powietrznej)
- in 1957 regiment was renamed to 62nd Fighter Regiment (62. Pułk Lotnictwa Myśliwskiego) which, in 1958, received name of "Insurgents of Greater Poland Uprising (1918–1919)" (Powstańców Wielkopolskich 1918/1919)
- on 16 January 1994 regiment was renamed to 3rd Fighter Regiment of Poznań (3. Pułk Lotnictwa Myśliwskiego "Poznań") that consists two squadrons
- in 1999 1st squadron was enlarged by part of personnel and aircraft of disbanded 17th Air Force Squadron (17. Eskadra Lotnicza) from Poznań-Ławica Airport
The organisation as an air base was implemented on 31 December 2000 to conform with NATO practices, separating the air base from the units which are based there. On this date 3rd Fighter Regiment was split into 31st Air Base (31. Baza Lotnicza) and 3rd Tactical Squadron (3. Eskadra Lotnictwa Taktycznego).
On 1 April 2008 31st Air Base was again joined with 3rd Tactical Squadron and 6th Tactical Squadron to form single unit named 31st Tactical Air Base.
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