Zlot; A rather serious gathering of Polish Armed Forces’ senior leadership

Usually, in the Polish language, a “ZLOT” means a rather informal gathering of likeminded spirits, such as aficionados of a certain car model. Not so however in the case of the senior leadership of Polish Armed Forces’ flying units – their annual gathering is a dead‑serious evaluation/examination of actual flying and navigational skills as well as theoretical knowledge of aviation procedures and regulations. Participants of this gathering are leaders who represent all branches of the Polish Armed Forces, i.e. Air Force, Army and Navy. This year’s ZLOT course/exam was held from 28 till 30 October at Krzesiny Air Base on the outskirts of the city of Poznań in central Poland. Recce Reports visited the gathering on 28 October 2014.

Day 1
Day one saw the arrival of participating leaders, and they arrived in style, flying a wide variety of aircraft: from the modern Lockheed Martin F‑16C/D Block 52+ to the venerable TS‑11 Iskra, from C‑130E Herculeses to PZL-130TC Orliks, with a number of interesting helicopter types to top it off. Prior to arriving at the base, as a part of the exam, the participants first had to fly a mission profile reflecting their aircraft type and unit tasking. After arrival, engine shutdown and post‑flight checks at Krzesiny AB, they reported directly to Polish Armed Forces’ Commander Lieutenant General Lech Majewski who accepted their reports and welcomed them to the base.

Day 2 and 3
Days two and three were dedicated to the sharpening and evaluation of methodical‑theoretical skills, performed not with control stick and throttle in hand, but rather on terra firma, at the 31st Tactical Air Base training facilities in Kiekrz.
During this purely theoretical portion of the training, the gathered leaders held lectures and participated in-group discussions on a broad variety of subjects, all pertaining to their “core business”, i.e. military aviation. After concluding the last day of ZLOT 2014, the senior leaders of the Polish Armed Forces returned to their home bases where they will put their freshly sharpened skills to good use for another year of leadership of their entrusted flying units.

An article about ZLOT 2014 was published in the March 2015 issue of Full Stop Magazine.