US soldiers arrive in Poland for joint exercises

US soldiers arrive in Poland for joint exercises

A group of soldiers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team based in Vicenza, Italy, landed at the north-western Polish airport in Swidwin on Wednesday. Some 150 soldiers are to take part in military exercises held at the Drawsko Pomorskie military range. 

Photo: Marcin Bielecki/PAP/EPA

Photo: Marcin Bielecki/PAP/EPA

„We are taking part in a special event opening a successive chapter of cooperation between Polish and US armed forces,” General Commander of the Polish Armed Forces, General Lech Majewski said during a welcoming ceremony attended by Polish Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak and US Ambassador to Poland Stephen Mull.

Minister Siemoniak stressed that there is nothing more important for Poles than „secure and independent Republic.” „We do not expect that someone will secure this for us…but in a changing world full of threats we need strong and unfailing allies, such as the United States and NATO.”

Ambassador Mull stressed that Poland always stood by the United States and today the Transatlantic Community stands in face of an inadmissible Russian aggression against Poland’s neighbour – Ukraine, a sovereign and independent state. It is our duty to assure, within NATO, of our security guarantees, said the ambassador.

Earlier in the day, Polish PM Donald Tusk said the number of US soldiers to train with Polish units at the Drawsko Pomorskie range may be increased if such will be the need.

„We may say that the company which will cooperate with one of our brigades at the Drawsko range can be, depending of the need, enlarged at any moment in numbers to a brigade,” Tusk told a Warsaw press conference.

„The exercises or the presence of US soldiers will not be short-lived. We assume that in case of need and within the increasingly intensive cooperation this presence will expand rather than diminish,” stressed Tusk.

He assured that Poland’s strategy is based, among others, on close cooperation with the US in the sphere of the defence policy. „We are aware that Poland will not have a better guarantor regarding military security than the United States.”

The PM said that it is understandable that in view of the „commotion in the east of the continent” above all Poland would want to have more palpable security guarantees….” „…that is bigger NATO presence, including soldiers and American installations so that Poland in no case be treated as a second category participant in the North Atlantic Alliance,” said Tusk. (PAP)

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