One of these who shape the North Atlantic Alliance
- We meet in a special place. In a place, that is important in nowadays functioning of NATO, because here is the highest-rank headquarters of the North Atlantic Alliance, that operates in Poland. This is the Multinational Corps North-East in Szczecin - said Minister Mariusz Blaszczak during his visit to Szczecin.
On Monday, March 11, during "NATO week", Mariusz Błaszczak, the Minister of National Defence together with the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda paid a visit to the Headquarters of the Multinational Corps North-East (MNC NE) in Szczecin.
- Headquarters of Multinational Corps North-East is an important element in the command structure of NATO. We strengthen the command structure, it constitutes our security, as well as the presence of allied troops. The corps was also created 20 years ago, in September will be the exact 20th anniversary of the Corps, so together we create the history of NATO, we create the history of Poland - said Minister Błaszczak.
During a visit President and Minister acquainted with the structure of multinational units and major projects implemented by the Multinational Corps North-East.
During a speech at the ceremony, Mariusz Błaszczak, the Minister of National Defence, recalled the changes that have taken place within twenty years of Poland's membership in NATO.
- The North Atlantic Alliance is developing itself, of which we are very happy. When we joined the North Atlantic Alliance 20 years ago, we were the countries that started the process of modernizing their armed forces. In the case of the Republic of Poland, today we can say that this process has gained speed. Today, we can say that we are one of the countries that shape the entire North Atlantic Alliance. In the case of Poland, thanks to the fact that we spend 2% of our GDP on defence, we are one of the NATO leaders - he said.
The President reminded that almost 20 years ago, on March 12, 1999 in the American state of Missouri, a treaty on Poland's accession to NATO was signed.
- I will not hesitate to say that generations of Poles have been waiting for this moment since the end of World War II. For this moment today, one can say, many sacrificed their lives. The membership in the North Atlantic Alliance meant the final confirmation of Poland's sovereignty and independence. It confirmed the exit from the Russian sphere of influence and entry into the geopolitical circle of the West - said President Duda.
The Superior of the Polish Armed Forces also informed that the 12th Szczecin Mechanized Division will be affiliated to the Multinational Corps North-East.
- I want to declare to all of you today that we have agreed with Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, that the 12th Szczecin Mechanized Division will be affiliated to the Multinational Corps North-East from the Polish side – he said.
A visit to Szczecin, which was part of the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of Poland's accession to NATO, was also an opportunity to talk with the soldiers from the Corps.
The president and the head of the Ministry of Defence also met with Major. Danuta Felicja Szyksznian from Janiczak house, "Sarenka", "Szarotka" - a teacher and liaison officer of the Wilno Home Army District in the group of "Koza".
"NATO week" is organized in military units throughout Poland on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Poland's membership in the North Atlantic Alliance.
The Headquarters of the Multinational Corps North-Eastern in Szczecin is the highest NATO command in the east of the Alliance, with particular emphasis on the Baltic Sea region. Its provides monitoring of the security situation in Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovakia and Hungary. Since June 2017, it has been operating as a High Readiness Forces Command. This means that it is responsible for all units and NATO ground forces located on the eastern flank, starting with the NATO Force Integration Units through the Multinational Division - North East, ending with multinational battalion battle groups deployed in Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia Under the so-called enhanced Forward Presence. In addition, the Corps is ready to command immediately both troops stationed now on the eastern flank, as well as elements of the NATO Response Force (including the so-called "spear"), and thus take over responsibility for conducting all NATO land operations in the Baltic Sea region.
From September 12, 2018 duties of the commander of the Multinational Corps North-Eastern is performed by Lieutenant General Sławomir Wojciechowski.