US Air Base in Poland to Expand, Boost NATO’s Eastern Flank Security

As part of an agreement securing a permanent US presence in Poland, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak announced on Monday that Poland will expand a military base hosting the US Combat Aviation Brigade in the coming years.

The US does not have a permanent military base in Poland though Warsaw has long lobbied for one, even proposing to call it “Fort Trump” in an effort to woo the previous US president Donald Trump.

Visiting the construction site of the new American military logistics depot in Poland along with the US Ambassador to Poland, Mark Brzezinski, Błaszczak said the Powidz Air Base in west-central Poland is expected to strengthen the operational capabilities of the US Air Force in support of Polish and NATO forces in the region.

The base in Powidz hosts the US Apache strike helicopters.

The new depot near the Powidz Air Base is undergoing construction with the goal of serving the US military and will get new hangars, warehouses, elements of a mobile system for the airbase as well as a bulk fuel storage facility nearby.

Amid the unprecedented tensions between NATO and Russia over Moscow’s war in Ukraine, Powidz base is turning into a military complex that will boost the eastern flank of the North Atlantic Alliance.

The Polish Defense Ministry said that Powidz Air Base’s expansion is as part of the 2020 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement signed by Washington and Warsaw that creates conditions for a permanent, long-term presence of the US Armed Forces in Poland, which would strengthen its national security.

The agreement will enable the rapid development of Central and Eastern Europe’s additional combat capabilities, the ministry said, noting that it includes a total of 114 infrastructure projects at 11 locations.

Poland will also purchase 96 attack helicopters and tanks from the US to build its own military potential and is expected to receive Abrams tanks as early as next year.

US President Joe Biden noted last week that the temporarily deployed US forces in Poland are likely to stay there for a long time after Warsaw’s demand for Washington to increase its presence and permanently garrison troops there though it would technically violate a NATO treaty with Russia.

Although the exact number of US troops deployed in Poland, NATO’s main logistical hub for supporting Ukraine, is unknown, the US ambassador Brzezinski revealed in May that there is over 12,600 American military personnel in the country, the largest number in history.

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