U.S. and Poland Break Ground On Aegis Ashore Site In Poland
(Source: U.S Missile Defense Agency; issued May 13, 2016)
REDZIKOWO, Poland --– United States and Polish officials commemorated the start of the construction phase of an Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System (AAMDS) complex during a ceremony here today.
"Our partnership with Poland and Romania underwrites U.S. military activities in the region and reflects our steadfast commitment to enhancing regional security,” said Robert Work, Deputy Secretary of Defense, “countering the threat of ballistic missile attacks from outside the Euro-Atlantic area is a collective security challenge that requires collective defense."
Aegis Ashore, a critical part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA), is a land-based capability of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) System constructed to defend NATO populations, territory, and forces against ballistic missile threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area. The EPAA concept is the U.S.’s multi-phase effort to support NATO BMD, which includes for using BMD-capable Aegis ships, Aegis Ashore Missile Defense sites, a forward deployed radar in Turkey, and a command and control network located at Ramstein AB, Germany.
The commencement of construction on the site in Poland represents a key milestone to complete Phase III of the EPAA. U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet recognized another key milestone toward completion of Phase II of the EPAA by deeming the AAMDS in Romania as operationally certified in a ceremony held at Naval Support Facility Deveselu, May 12.
The BMD complex at Redzikowo will consist of a fire-control radar deckhouse with an associated Aegis command, control and communications suite. Separately, it will house several launch modules containing SM-3 missiles. Once complete, the Aegis Ashore BMD site in Poland will host the upgraded SM-3 Block IIA. The delivery of this improved weapons system, and the increased BMD infrastructure under EPAA, will improve the defensive coverage against medium- and intermediate-range threats.
"AEGIS Ashore reflects the strength of our relationship as Allies and our resolve in promoting security and close regional cooperation in Europe,” added Work. “This enhancement marks another milestone and is consistent with the enduring partnership between the U.S., Poland and Romania. The Department of Defense looks forward to continued work with our NATO allies in developing BMD."
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District is managing the project. Two major construction contracts for missile defense and Navy support facilities in Redzikowo were awarded this year. Naval Support Facility (NSF) Redzikowo is expected to be established in fall of 2016 and will host the missile defense complex and supporting Technical capability of the U.S. BMD complex is expected to be delivered in the 2018 timeframe.
Groundbreaking At the US Ballistic Missile Defense Base In Redzikowo
(Source; Ministry of National Defence Republic of Poland; issued May 13, 2016)
“The installation of the anti-missile defense system is meant to enhance the safety of Poland and its Allies, and is not to be viewed as an aggressive act,” stressed Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz in Redzikowo today, where he took part in groundbreaking ceremonies initiating the construction of the new anti-ballistic missile base
“It is truly an important day for Poland, for NATO, for Europe, it is an important day for peace in Europe and in the world,” added the Defence Minister, while stressing that: “Never and in no way are these efforts to be perceived as an aggressive act towards anyone.” As the head of the Defence Ministry further stressed: “The main motive, cause and purpose of our efforts was defense, and to increase Poland’s security, and that of our Allies.”
The groundbreaking ceremony at the base was attended by the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work, the Defense Minister of Romania, Mihnea Ioan Biker, Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Witold Waszczykowski, Assistant NATO Secretary General for Defense Investment Patrick Auroy, representatives of the highest authorities of the Republic of POLAND and other States hosting components of the U.S. missile defense system in Europe, as well as representatives of local and regional authorities of the Słupsk region.
“The missile defense system will strengthen the security of Poland, being a permanent element of NATO’s infrastructure,” said President Andrzej Duda. As he further noted: “Even though Poland has been a NATO member now for several years, we have been waiting for a long time for the Alliance to come to Poland in a permanent, stable sense as well. Indeed, this is occurring today,” said the Polish President.
The U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work said that: “NATO's missile defense system is a defensive system, fully compatible with arms-control agreements and is not aimed at Russia, nor will it have the ability to reduce the strategic deterrence potential of that country.” He added that: “The system was intended solely to protect Allied States, including Poland, against the threat of ballistic missiles from outside the Euro-Atlantic region.” (...)
Apart from the groundbreaking ceremony at Redzikowo, Poland’s Defence Minister met for a bilateral meeting with the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, Robert Work, as well as with the Romanian Defense Minister, Mihnea Ioan Motoc.
Cooperation in the area of missile defense is one of the key elements of the Polish-American strategic partnership. As part of this cooperation, an American missile defense installation will be deployed. It will provide for the defense of Poland and significant parts of the European continent belonging to the North Atlantic Alliance against a limited ballistic missile attack, primarily from the Middle East.
The base will be purely defensive in character.
The Poland-based Redzikowo installation will consist primarily of missile launchers (Standard Missile–3) and associated radar. Together with other such elements of the so-called EPAA (European Phased Adaptive Approach), the base at Redzikowo will constitute the U.S. contribution to the developing anti-missile defense system of NATO (the so-called NATO BMD), whose aim is to assure the defense of the population, territory and armed forces of NATO in the face of growing missile attack threats.
The location of Redzikowo as a base will bring about tangible strategic and defensive benefits for the Republic of Poland. First, it will provide a unique, in the scale of NATO, ability to defend against medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles. Such capacity, due to the high cost and time involved with their development, serves few Member States. Secondly, it will be a constant element of the U.S., and simultaneously, Allied military infrastructure in our country.
The legal basis for the deployment of the military base is the Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of Poland and the Government of the United States of America concerning the Deployment of Anti-ballistic Defensive Interceptor Missiles, as entered into in Warsaw on 20 August 2008, and the Protocol Amending the Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of Poland and the Government of the United States of America concerning the Deployment of Anti-ballistic Defensive Interceptor Missiles, as entered into in Warsaw on 20 August 2008, executed in Kraków on 3 July 2010 (JoL of 2011, No. 219, art.1298).
Construction works at the base are to be completed in 2018. At that time, the installation should become a component of the Allied ant-ballistic missile defense system.