Poland has completed its latest ‘Route 604’ road landing exercise, although challenging weather conditions restricted the scope of the activity.

Conducted from 10-14 March at airport road section (DOL) Wielbark – located between Ruskowo and Przezdziek Wielki – and staged as a subset of the Kondor-2024 exercise, the work involved units subordinated to the Polish air force’s 1st Tactical Aviation Wing.

Polish MiG-29

Source: 1st Tactical Air Wing/Polish air force

MiG-29s from Malbork air base took part in manoeuvres

On 10 March, four RAC MiG-29 fighters from the 22nd Tactical Air Base in Malbork and four Sukhoi Su-22 ground-attack aircraft from the 21st Tactical Air Base in Swidwin performed approaches and low passes over the DOL.

This was expanded over the following days to involve two and four of the aircraft respectively conducting approaches and touch and go manoeuvres, but not landings. Baykar Bayraktar TB-2 unmanned air vehicles from Miroslawiec air base also operated above the site during the exercise.

Polish Su-22

Source: 1st Tactical Air Wing/Polish air force

Several Su-22 ground-attack aircraft took part in latest ‘Route 604’ activity

Unlike a previous Route 604 activity performed at DOL Wielbark last September, the latest flights involved operational pilots flying from their home bases being re-tasked to participate. That activity had marked Poland’s first use of a road landing strip in over 20 years.

“The main assumption of this year’s exercise was to check, both in aviation, technical and logistic terms, the possibility of securing the landing of aircraft at a DOL, re-establishing of combat readiness and execution of air operations at the DOL and all elements directly related to this type of task,” the air force says.

Planned participation by a pair of Italian air force Eurofighters – which are currently operating from Malbork air base as part of NATO’s Enhanced Air Policing mission – was also prevented by the weather conditions, with the aircraft instead performing only low passes.

According to Poland’s Ministry of National Defence, the nation has 22 designated DOLs, of which three are currently in a condition suitable for operational use. That includes DOL Kliniska, near Szczecin, and a section of the A4 motorway.