US signs deal to increase military presence in Poland

17 June 2019 (Last Updated June 17th, 2019 10:11)

A defence agreement has been signed to deploy an additional 1,000 US troops in Poland on a rotational basis.

US signs deal to increase military presence in Poland
Polish soldiers and US Marines operate tanks during an event at the Adazi training grounds in Latvia. Credit: Marine Corps / 1st Lt Kristine Racicot.

A defence agreement has been signed to deploy an additional 1,000 US troops in Poland on a rotational basis.

Signed by US President Donald Trump and his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda, the agreement is the culmination of year-long negotiations between the two countries.

As a result of the new deal, the US will have additional defence infrastructure in Poland, as well as the increased presence.

The US does not have permanently stationed forces in Poland. However, the country maintains a rotational force in the country, with around 4,500 troops on average during any month.

Additional US military personnel will help enhance defence and deterrence capabilities in Eastern Europe.

To support the enhanced US presence, Poland will fund the creation of necessary basing and infrastructure.

In addition, the Polish Government will fully fund the establishment of a US special operations capability and an area support group.

US Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said: “Enhanced bilateral cooperation in security will deepen our Polish-American partnership, which is vital to addressing today’s current threats and challenges.

“We look forward to this continued defence relationship, and friendship, for years to come.”

The US will also establish a division headquarters in the country. Furthermore, the joint declaration revealed that a combat training centre will be established at Drawsko Pomorskie in northern Poland to train military personnel from both nations.

“The Polish Government will fully fund the establishment of a US special operations capability and an area support group.”

The agreement reads: “Both countries seek to conclude international agreements and other arrangements necessary to realise the common vision for enhanced defence cooperation, including the streamlining of the functioning of the US forces in Poland.”

Shanahan added that the increased presence will continue to ensure democracy, freedom and sovereignty in the region.

According to media sources, Andrzej Duda proposed to invest $2bn to create a permanent US base in the country. Trump, however, has not committed to the proposal.