Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Poland Will Have Permanent US Air Force Base Despite Russian Objections

Poland and the United States have signed an agreement that will allow U.S. Air Force to station its troops and aircraft permanently in Poland.According to this deal US will start deployment from 2013 of aircraft and training staff to help bolster the EU nation's military capacity, Poland's defense minister said June 13.

Poland's Defense Minister Bogdan Klich and U.S. Ambassador Lee Feinstein signed the agreement on Monday.

"This agreement brings with something new, namely the permanent presence of American soldiers on Polish soil," minister Bogdan Klich told reporters in Warsaw after formally signing a memorandum on the deployments with the U.S. ambassador to Warsaw, Lee Feinstein.

"In this way, it prepares the permanent presence of American troops on Polish soil around 2018, in connection with the realization of the most important project - the anti-missile shield," Klich said, referring to the anti-missile shield project which NATO has adopted as its own.

Poland has a fleet of 48 state-of-the-art F-16 aircraft, and an F-16 base located in Lask, near the western Polish city of Poznan.

"We believe that this will become a regional hub for NATO air operations in Central Europe," Feinstein told reporters.

According to the memorandum, starting in 2013, a U.S. Air Force Aviation Detachment will be the first ever to be permanently stationed in Poland. It will provide support for U.S. F-16 fighters and C-130 transport aircraft. Poland, a NATO member since 1999, is a staunch U.S. ally.