There will be more US troops in Poland
"The United States plan to increase its current military presence in Poland, amounting now to approximately 4,500 rotating military personnel. This permanent presence will increase in the near future by about 1000 additional soldiers and will focus on providing additional defence and deterrence capabilities in Poland." This entry was included in the declaration signed today by Polish President Andrzej Duda and US President Donald Trump.
June 12, 2019 in the White House in Washington the meeting of Polish and US presidents was held, attended by Mariusz Błaszczak, the Minister of National Defence. The agreement signed today is the effect of many months of negotiations between the Ministry of National Defence and the US administration.
From the beginning of his term of office, Mariusz Błaszczak, the Minister of National Defence, is seeking to increase the presence of US troops in Poland, and thus increase security on NATO's eastern flank. The Minister has repeatedly held talks on this matter, among others with Ambassador John Bolton, Patrick Shanahan, acting US Secretary of Defence, and J. Inhof, Chairman of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, and Senator Richard Shelby, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Budget Assignments.
- The agreement signed today by the presidents is a breakthrough. By virtue of this document, we strengthen the defence capabilities of Polish Armed Forces. There will be an increase in the number of US military presence in our country. The document contains a statement about enduring presence. This changes the nature of the current presence of US troops in Poland - said Mariusz Błaszczak, Minister of National Defence after signing the declaration on Polish-American cooperation.
The head of the National Defence Ministry noted that the agreement signed today is good for Poland, for NATO's eastern flank countries and for the North Atlantic Alliance itself.
- I want the Polish Armed Forces to be more numerous, equipped with the most modern equipment - the F-35 is an example of this. There must be strong relations in the alliance as well as the bilateral ones. These are real guarantees of Poland's security - said the head of the National Defence Ministry.
Minister Błaszczak pointed out that Poland is a reliable ally. - We are present in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo, Romania and Latvia. We spend 2% of GDP on the Polish Armed Forces. We buy new equipment. We have sent the LoR for F-35 aircraft. We are serious about all that applies to defence - assured the minister. Speaking about the modernization and purchase of new aircraft of the 5th generation, the head of the Ministry of National Defence stressed that the F-35 aircraft will cooperate with the F-16 and with the recently bought Himars system. At the same time, it will raise the defence capabilities of the Polish Armed Forces by several levels.
- We are moving towards making Poland's position as strong as possible. Signing the agreement is a breakthrough. The increase of US soldiers by a minimum of 1000. We are strengthening infrastructure that will serve not only the American army, but also the Polish army - said minister M. Błaszczak. He also stressed that one of his priorities is the withdrawal from use of post-Soviet military equipment.
The Declaration on Defence Cooperation on the presence of the United States of America forces on the territory of the Republic of Poland signed today also speaks of establishing in Poland, among others: Forward US Division Headquarters, Combat Training Center in Drawsko Pomorskie, US Special Forces capabilities, US Air Force unmanned aerial vehicles MQ-9 squadron, loading and unloading air base and support groups to secure current and future US Armed Forces in Poland. An infrastructure will also be created to support the presence of an armored brigade combat group, an air combat brigade and a battalion of logistic support in our country.
In many areas, Poland is making efforts to strengthen its defence capabilities. The Minister of National Defence makes decisions aimed at increasing Poland's activity in the North Atlantic Alliance as well as increasing the size of the Polish Armed Forces. By the decision of the head of the Ministry of National Defence, PLN 185 billion will be earmarked for technical modernization of the Polish Armed Forces by 2026. One of the last decisions of the head of the Ministry of Defence is the decision to purchase the F-35 aircraft for the air force equipment. In this case, among others the head of the Ministry of Defence talked on Monday, June 10 about the development program F-35 with the command Staff of the Eglin Air Force Base. At the end of May, Poland sent LoR for the purchase of 32 F-35 aircraft. Thus, the time of using post-Soviet equipment by Polish pilots ends. The planned purchase of F-35 fighter aircraft is part of creating the entire system that deters the potential enemy. Earlier, I signed agreements for the purchase of Patriot and Himars systems.
On Tuesday, Mariusz Błaszczak, the head of the Ministry of Defence, talked in Washington with the acting US Secretary of Defence, Patrick Shanahan, on strengthening of the bilateral military relations between countries, as well as cooperation within the NATO Alliance. The meeting began with the unique ceremony of welcoming Minister Mariusz Błaszczak in the Pentagon – cannon salvo. The head of the Ministry of National Defense also talked with Ambassador John Bolton and J. Inhof, Chairman of the Senate Committee for the Armed Forces and with Senator Richard Shelby, thus completing the first stage of negotiations on strengthening the presence of US troops in Poland.
On the last day of the visit, on June 13, at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington, the head of the Polish National Defence Ministry will meet with Polish and US veterans.