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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

New US Army HQ strengthens Polish-US ties: defence minister

04.08.2020 16:30
A decision to establish a new US Army headquarters in Poland further strengthens ties between Warsaw and Washington, Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said on Tuesday.
Audio
Mariusz Błaszczak speaks during the ceremony in Kraków on Tuesday.
Mariusz Błaszczak speaks during the ceremony in Kraków on Tuesday.Photo: PAP/Łukasz Gągulski

He was speaking at a ceremony in the southern Polish city of Kraków where the move was officially confirmed by officials and military men from the two countries.  

A day earlier US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that Poland and the United States had completed negotiations on an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, building on their existing security cooperation and cementing their “long-standing defense partnership.”

Esper said in a statement that the agreement “will enable an increased enduring U.S. rotational presence of about 1,000 personnel,” in addition to “the 4,500 U.S. personnel already on rotation in Poland.”

The agreement means that Poland will host “the forward elements of the U.S. Army’s V Corps headquarters and a Division headquarters, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, and the infrastructure to support an armored brigade combat team and combat aviation brigade,” according to Esper.

Poland’s Błaszczak told those at the ceremony in Kraków on Tuesday that “the presence of the forward elements of the U.S. Army’s V Corps headquarters” in Poland “testifies to a strengthening of Polish-American relations.”

The US ambassador to Poland, Georgette Mosbacher, said that "the Polish-US relationship continues to grow as we increase our military and civilian cooperation."

Georgette Mosbacher.The US ambassador to Poland, Georgette Mosbacher, addresses the gathering. Photo: PAP/Łukasz Gągulski

Lt. Gen. John Kolasheski, a senior US military officer with Polish roots, was introduced during the event as the commander of the new US Army headquarters in Poland.

Lt. Gen. John Kolasheski. Photo: PAP/Łukasz Gągulski Lt. Gen. John Kolasheski. Photo: PAP/Łukasz Gągulski

The ceremony in the historic Polish city was held in front of the Kościuszko Mound, a landmark hill named after Polish and American independence hero Tadeusz Kościuszko.

The Polish defence minister said at the end of last week that the completion of negotiations on the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the United States marked "an important day for Poland's security."

He added that the two countries "will soon sign a final agreement on the enduring presence of US troops in Poland."

(gs/pk)

Source: PAP, TVP Info

Listen to an audio report by clicking on the ‘Play’ button above