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Defender Europe 20 - a strong confirmation of our commitment to security

30.01.2020

- Poland together with allies from the United States and other partner countries joined the organisation of one of the largest exercises organized by the US Army in Europe in 25 years. Strategic force deployment practiced as part of Defender Europe 20 is one of the key capabilities necessary to ensure Poland's lasting security. This exercise is an expression of our shared commitment to security. Defender Europe 20 is also an opportunity for the Polish Armed Forces to prove itself both in terms of logistics planning and coordination - said Mariusz Błaszczak, Minister of National Defence during the briefing before the Defender Europe 20 exercise.

Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak gives a speech. Briefing on the Defender Europe 20 exercise, soldiers and armored vehicles in the background. PL and USA flags.

On Thursday, January 30 in Warsaw, a briefing was held on Polish-US cooperation before the Defender Europe 20 exercise, attended by: Georgette Mosbacher, US Ambassador to Poland, General Rajmund Andrzejczak, Chief of General Staff of the Polish Army, Major General Joe Jarrard, Deputy Commander of the US Army Europe. The briefing was attended by representatives of local administration as well as offices and services involved in preparation for the Defender Europe 20 exercise.

- Defender Europe 20 and a series of combined exercises will be attended by almost 37 thousand soldiers from 18 countries. 20 thousand will be transferred to our continent directly from the United States. Poland actively participates in the exercise. Our contribution is not only over 2,000 soldiers and heavy equipment, air assets, road infrastructure, railways or ports, but also a very large group from the civil sector and other services, such as the Police, Border Guard or Fire Service - said the head of the Ministry of National Defence.

During the briefing, the expert part is devoted to civil and military cooperation during the Defender Europe 20 exercise between the Polish and US sides, as well as to matters of the movement of US troops through the territory of the Republic of Poland.

- Exercise Defender Europe 20 is unique for our country. During it, we will have the opportunity to confirm and check the national logistic procedures and capabilities. That is why it is so important to establish even closer cooperation between the participants of the exercise, especially at the civil-military level. The presence of representatives of voivodships, central offices and institutions responsible for infrastructure, safety and health services is the key to efficient coordination. To ensure it, one also needs a constant flow of information between the armed forces and civilians - emphasized Defence Minister Błaszczak.

- Increasing the presence of US troops in Poland is one of the priorities of the Ministry of National Defence. In addition to the implementation of the plans, which were included in the joint declaration negotiated by the Ministry of National Defence and signed in September 2019 by the Presidents of the Republic of Poland and the United States, activities such as the Defender Europe 20 exercise are proof of very good relations between Poland and the United States. From this place I would like to thank the US Ambassador for her commitment to Poland and our common security. The fact that we are here together is a clear proof that our countries have a special, very strong bond. The bond of mutual responsibility and friendship - said Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak at the end of the briefing.

The head of the Ministry of National Defence thanked the US side for its involvement in organizing the briefing, which main goal was to transfer all available knowledge about the exercise to representatives of local authorities. - We will keep local communities fully informed about what impact Defender Europe 20 will have on daily functioning in their region. I hope that after this meeting together we will strengthen this awareness effectively - added the head of the Ministry of National Defence.

- Exercise Defender Europe 20 is proof of US involvement in Europe and the lifetime of the guarantees enshrined in art. 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. (...) This exercise is not only symbolic, it is the essence of what we mean by collective defence. (...) Poland is crucial in these efforts and it is no exaggeration to say that Defender Europe 20 could not have happened without Poland. I am very grateful to our partners in the Polish government, as well as to the armed forces for their excellent coordination and commitment - said Georgette Mosbacher, the US Ambassador to Poland during the meeting.

Defender Europe 20 is an international exercise organized by the US Army Command in Europe (USAREUR). In total, approximately 37,000 soldiers from 18 countries will participate in this and numerous joint exercises. Poland is one of the host countries. Polish contributions to the Defender Europe 20 exercise include, among others over 2,000 soldiers, heavy equipment, air assets, training grounds and road infrastructure.

It will be the largest deployment of forces, in the size of the division, in full combat readiness from the United States to Europe in 25 years. 20,000 US soldiers will arrive. The main goal of DEFENDER-Europe 20 is to increase preparedness for crisis situations by checking not only the ability of the US army to quickly move large numbers of US soldiers and equipment, but also the readiness of host countries to accept them.

More information about the exercise at the Polish Armed Forces web page: https://www.wojsko-polskie.pl/defender-europe-20/  (in Polish language).

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