Strengthening the Presence of US Troops in Poland is a Breakthrough
(Source: Poland Ministry of Defence; issued June 11, 2019)
“We are finishing the first stage of negotiations related to strengthening of the US presence in Poland - this is the culmination of the first stage. We will be fulfilling the decision that the Presidents of Poland and the United States will take, and it will bring good results in terms of the defence capabilities of the Polish Armed Forces and the security of Poland,” said Mariusz Błaszczak, the Minister of National Defence, after meeting with Ambassador John Bolton, adviser on security to the US President.

“This was my third meeting with Ambassador Bolton. We will know tomorrow, when the presidents of Poland and the USA will announce it to the public, the decisions that have been made. This will be an important event, an important date in the history of our country. This agreement is as important as 20 years ago was Poland's entry into the North Atlantic Alliance,” Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak emphasized.

The head of the National Defence Ministry will also talk with acting US Secretary of Defence Patrick Shanahan, his American counterpart. This will be the third talk of ministers this year to strengthen the US military presence in Poland. According to the head of the National Defence Ministry, the effects of talks and negotiations between the Polish and US defence ministries will be beneficial for the entire European region:

“Good decision for Poland, a good decision for the countries located on the eastern flank of NATO and a good decision for the whole North Atlantic Alliance. We are waiting for tomorrow's meeting of President Andrzej Duda with President Donald Trump.”

Another effect of increasing the US military presence in Poland will be infrastructure investments and improving the cooperation between Polish and US soldiers:

-- We invest in infrastructure that will serve US troops, but first and foremost the Polish Armed Forces - we are talking about interoperability, about cooperation between Polish and American forces, this is the way to ensure security for Poland.

The head of the Ministry of National Defence reminded that Poland is making efforts in many areas to strengthen its defence capabilities:

“One would be wrong to say that we are only entrusting our security to our allies - no, we are active in the North Atlantic Alliance, we develop the Polish Armed Forces, create a new mechanised division, to the east of the Vistula, but also modernize the Polish Armed Forces, equip it with the most modern equipment, compatible with US military equipment. Estimated, I can say that in the Technical Modernization Plan until 2026 there is PLN 185 billion. I am already preparing the Plan for 15 years – in accordance with NATO regulations.”

The head of the Ministry of National Defence reminded about the negotiations regarding the purchase of fifth generation multirole aircraft and announced that the possible purchase of these aircraft from the USA would take place in the FMS formula - Foreign Military Sales.

“We can afford to buy new aircraft and replace post-Soviet ones. This is a reasoned decision. Security is invaluable, thanks to the fact that Poland is safe, the economy can develop, we attract investments to our country, so safety is a priority. The F-35s are owned by eight countries that have started the development process of this aircraft and four countries that joined at a later stage, and Poland will be the fifth such country. The most modern aircraft that guarantee the Polish Air Force's adequate combat capabilities that expand its defence capabilities. This will be Foreign Military Sales - a formula that is used by number of countries, as for example by the Belgians, and will be the case also for us.”

On Wednesday, June 12, in the White House, Mariusz Błaszczak, the Minister of National Defence, will take part in the debates presided over by Polish President Andrzej Duda and the US President Donald Trump.

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 American veterans.

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