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ROUTE 604: Polish Air Force’s First Highway Strip Exercise In Decades Has Begun

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Route 604
File photo of a Polish F-16 (with a Polish road sign in the box). Image credit: The Aviationist

First Highway Strip Exercise in Poland in 20 years underway.

According to a release issued by the Polish General Command of the Armed Forces, the Polish Air Force is going to engage in the first highway strip (known as DOL – Drogowy Odcinek Lotniskowy – which loosely translates into Airbase Road Section into English) exercise. Notably, this is the first operation of this type organized in two decades in Poland.

The exercise, dubbed ROUTE 604, has been designed to train the procedures associated with conducting flight operations with the involvement of public roads. The overall objective is to allow the Polish air assets to reclaim their capability to disperse and continue operations once the home bases are disabled.

The exercise, the command claims, will involve a broad variety of air assets, including the MiG-29 Fulcrums, Su-22 Fitters, C-130s, C295Ms, and M-28s, and the M-346 Masters as well. This, in practical terms, translates into involvement of the Air Force in its entirety – with 1st and 2nd Tactical Air Wings, 3rd Airlift Wing, and 4th Training Aviation Wing all participating in the operations. Furthermore, the whole operation is also to involve all of the necessary ground personnel, JTACs, logisticians, as well as MP and Territorial Defence units.

The exercise is scheduled to run from Sep. 18 until Oct. 3, 2023, and it is going to involve a 3-kilometer section of  Voivodeship Road no. 604  between Ruskowo, and Przeździęk Wielki (a part of a road connecting Nidzica and Wielbark) in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship. No traffic would be allowed between Ruskowo and Przeździęk Wielki. The MoD recommends using the Voivodeship roads No. 545 and No. 508 instead.

The highway strip on road 604 features an apron where the aircraft may be rearmed and refueled.

Here’s the location of the said strip.

Standing contributor for TheAviationist. Aviation photojournalist. Co-Founder of DefensePhoto.com. Expert in linguistics, Cold War discourse, Cold War history and policy and media communications.

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