American commandos from the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) have just finished a months-long training deployment in Poland, where they conducted realistic training scenarios with their Polish brethren.

The airmen were part of the 321st Special Tactics Squadron (STS), which is based in Royal Air Force Mildenhall, in the United Kingdom. The squadron is part of the 352nd Special Operations Wing.

A combat controller who took part in the exercise said that the team had been deployed to Poland months prior in order to prepare and hone other critical skills. “We’ve practiced basics of assault zones, air traffic control, completing surveys, and what we call the global-access piece,” he said.

Such skills are crucial for projecting America’s special operations (SOF) might around the globe. For example, during the initial stages of the war in Afghanistan, Special Tactics airmen were always the first to parachute behind Taliban lines in southern Afghanistan in order to access potential airfield sites.