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Lithuanian Command Sergeant Major visits 171st as part of State Partnership Program

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kyle Brooks
  • 171st Air Refueling Wing

Lithuanian Command Sergeant Major Nerijus Petravičius and Pennsylvania Command Chief Master Sergeant Regina Stoltzfus visited the 171st Air Refueling Wing in Coraopolis, Pa. April 8, 2018, as part of the Pennsylvania State Partnership Program.

Petravičius and Stoltzfus began the day at the wing by hosting question and answer sessions with members. Two sessions were held, one for junior enlisted Airmen and one for Senior Noncommissioned Officers. Airmen were able to give feedback to Stoltzfus which then gets passed to the Pennsylvania Joint Force Headquarters. Airmen feedback plays a critical role for the leadership to implement changes. The session presented a good demonstration to Petravičius on how the 171st and Joint Force Headquarters communicate through leadership. Petravičius joined the conversations to offer input on what the Lithuanian Air Force have found successful.  

Following the time spent with Airmen, Petravičius and Stoltzfus, accompanied by Command Chief Master Sergeant of the 171st, Chief Master Sgt. Randy E. Miller, toured the 171st refueling simulator and a KC-135 aircraft. Petravičius got hands-on experience in the refueling simulator where he faced the challenges of in-flight refueling and successfully refueled a receiving aircraft on the first attempt. Boom operators from the 171st Operations Group coached Petravičius in the boom pod and also gave him some information on how the refueling process works. During the tour of the KC-135 aircraft, Petravičius got an opportunity to share flying experiences with 171st pilots.

The 171st was the first stop for Petravičius on his SPP trip to Pennsylvania. After leaving Pittsburgh, Petravičius continued on to Pennsylvania Joint Force Headquarters located at Ft. Indiantown GAP then continued to the 193rd Special Operations Wing and the 111th Attack Wing. Activities spanned from spending time with Redhorse and Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) members to visiting the Liberty Bell and Independence Mall in Philadelphia.

This concluded the visit for Petravičius but the partnership between Lithuania and Pennsylvania continues strong. April 27, 2018, marks 25 years of cooperation in the State Partnership Program for Lithuania and Pennsylvania. During the past 25 years, the number of joint events held has climbed to approximately 50 each year. Since the beginning of the program in 1993, the Pennsylvania National Guard and Lithuanian Armed Forces have conducted over 18 co-deployments and 600 security cooperation engagements. The pair has participated in numerous exercises such as Saber Strike, Dynamic Front, Allied Spirit, Combined Resolve, Saber Junction, and numerous Lithuanian national exercises.

The 171st and Pennsylvania National Guard remains committed to the security, stability and interests of Lithuania.

For more information on the Pennsylvania State Partnership Program visit: