White House Planning F-35 Flyover for Polish President (excerpt)
(Source: CNN; posted June 12, 2019)
By Kylie Atwood, Jeremy Diamond and Kevin Liptak
The White House is planning a flyover of two F-35 fighter jets during Wednesday's visit from Polish President Andrzej Duda, according to three US government officials.
The flyover above the White House South Lawn comes as the two governments are preparing to announce an increase in the US troop presence in Poland. US officials on Tuesday previewed a "significant announcement" on US troop presence in Poland when Duda visits the White House.
Poland is also taking steps to purchase new F-35s from the United States, and the country's defense minister traveled to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida this week to see the jets in action.
Asked about the prospect of a flyover on Wednesday, a White House spokesman said there was "nothing to announce right now."
Last week, President Donald Trump marveled at multiple flyovers during his visit to Europe, including at D-Day commemoration ceremonies in Portsmouth, England, and on France's Normandy coast.
He is known to revel in the military trappings of his job. But a flyover of military aircraft at the White House is exceedingly rare. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the CNN website.
Polish President, Defense Minister Visit F-35 Facility in Florida
(Source: US Department of Defense; issued June 11, 2019)
Polish President Andrzej Duda and Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak visited Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, to take a look at the F-35 joint strike fighter aircraft.
Senior U.S. defense officials said the Polish government has submitted a letter of request to purchase the F-35 aircraft, and that the Defense Department is working through the foreign military sales process to develop an offer for the Polish government.
Poland's Defense Ministry highlighted yesterday's visit to Eglin through a statement on Twitter: "On June 10-13, Mariusz Blaszczak visits U.S.," the ministry statement reads. "On the first day he visited ... Eglin Air Force Base, where he got acquainted with F-35 — the latest generation aircraft-development program: 'Soon we will join the elite group of countries using the best #F35,' said Mariusz Blaszczak."
Today, Blaszczak met with Acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan at the Pentagon.
"We respect and appreciate Poland's contributions, in terms of burden sharing, capacity building, readiness and the ability to conduct joint operations and just a whole host of what I would call model capabilities," Shanahan said.
Blaszczak reflected on a century of U.S. and Polish relations.
"It's been 100 years since we have established our diplomatic relations," he said. "Throughout those 100 years, our countries have experienced many examples of mutual support. A great example of that is the 20th anniversary of Poland joining NATO — which we are celebrating this year — which would have not been possible if not for the U.S.'s strong support."