US division headquarters (forward) created in Poznań
- I am proud of the fact that both declarations signed by the presidents are the result of the hard work of the Polish Ministry of National Defence and the US Department of Defence. This is even more important to me because strengthening the alliance with the United States and increasing the presence of US forces in Poland is one of my priorities - said Mariusz Błaszczak, the minister of national defence of Poland in Poznań.
On Friday, October 4 with the participation of the head of the Ministry of National Defence, the US ambassador to Poland G. Mosbacher and the deputy commander of the US forces in Europe J. Jarrard, the inauguration of the operation of the forward HQ of the American Infantry Division took place.
- Poland and the United States share a strategic partnership based on common values, traditional bonds of friendship and respect for mutual interests. This year is the hundredth anniversary of diplomatic relations between Poland and the United States. In addition, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of our accession to NATO. Poland’s accession to the North Atlantic Alliance would not be possible without strong support from the United States - the head of the Ministry of National Defence emphasized in his speech.
Speaking about Polish - US relations, the minister reminded about cooperation declarations signed by Polish and US presidents this year.
- In June this year Polish and US presidents have signed a joint declaration of cooperation. (...) Less than two weeks ago, on September 23, presidents adopted a second declaration in New York, which builds the concept of increasing the involvement of the US military forces in Poland in more detailed way, indicating the location for projects of the permanent presence of US troops. The declaration, among others, confirms Poznań as the site of the forward division command - said Minister Blaszczak.
Speaking about the significance of the declarations signed, the head of the Ministry of National Defence recalled that they create a completely new quality of the presence of US troops on Polish territory, as well as on the territory of the eastern flank of NATO.
- I am particularly pleased to note that we were able to agree on the lasting nature of this presence. It is thanks to the constantly present forces and the capabilities to further strengthen them quickly that the level of security of Poland and other allies in our region will increase significantly. Thus, Poland will eventually cease to be perceived as a buffer state - the minister emphasized.
The head of the Ministry of National Defence announced that the new command will play a particularly important role among projects that have been agreed with the US. The command will coordinate operations of the US forces on NATO's eastern flank. It will be the only such structure in our region and it will be of key importance for the rapid integration of US forces and their cooperation with the Polish Armed Forces.
- This is a clear message about the involvement of the United States in the defence of this part of Europe - added the head of the Ministry of National Defence.
Minister Błaszczak noted that since the beginning of the process of increasing the presence of US forces in our country, Poland has made significant investments in military infrastructure.
- I assure you that we will successively implement other projects of permanent presence of US forces in Poland. (...) I can say with certainty that our partnership with the United States has reached the next level and has never been as strong as it is today - the minister pointed out.
The US Ambassador to Poland G. Mosbacher, who was present at the ceremony, also emphasized good Polish - US cooperation in the field of security.
- Today we have a milestone in the presence of the US Armed Forces in Poland. Relations between Poland and the USA have never been stronger. Our security partnership shows the strength of our relationship - said the Ambassador.
The document signed in New York on September 23, 2019, by the Presidents of the Republic of Poland and the United States details the declaration on defence cooperation of June 12 this year, which announced the deployment of approximately one thousand more US soldiers in Poland. The signed document was processed, among others during talks of Mariusz Błaszczak, Minister of National Defence in the Pentagon and Congress. It is also the result of the work of experts of the working group from the Ministry of National Defence and the Pentagon.
The Polish-US agreement states, among others, that Poznań will be the location of the headquarters of the forward division command and of the US Army support group.
The command will coordinate the functioning of US forces on NATO's eastern flank as part of the Atlantic Resolve operation. It will be the only such structure in our region. It will provide the necessary capabilities in terms of commanding and planning the involvement of US forces, e.g. as part of exercises or rotations.
In addition, the United States and Poland also agreed that the Combat Training Center will be located in Drawsko Pomorskie, which will be used by the armed forces of both countries, as well as other allied forces. Wrocław-Strachowice was indicated as the seat of the loading and unloading air base. Łask will be the seat of the squadron of remotely controlled aircraft of the US Air Force. The headquarters of a combat air brigade, a logistical combat support battalion and a special forces facility will be built in Powidz. Special Forces will also be present in Lubliniec.