A visit to 23rd Tactical Air Base at Minsk Mazowiecki, east of Warsaw allowed some insight into the MiG 29 operations there. The Polish Air Force operates two squadrons of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG 29, one of which is based at Minsk Mazowiecki.
The 1.elt (Eskadra Lotnictwa Taktycznego – Tactical Squadron) flies the MiG-29 from Minsk Mazowiecki and it continues the tradition of the 7th Squadron "Tadeusz Kosciuszko" which was formed in 1920. Since 1.elt was initially based in and tasked with the protection of Warsaw, the squadron uses the name "Warszawa" while all the squadron aircraft are marked with the Warsaw city mermaid symbol. Minsk Mazowiecki is also home to a Search and Rescue Group who are equipped with PZL W-3RL Sokol SAR helicopter.
Traffic was very light during the visit, this is mainly due to the fact that 5 pilots and 3 aircraft were deployed to the NATO Tactical Leadership Programe (TLP), however there were some interesting visitors: