Gen. Hodges: Poland's transportation hub to improve region's security

Ingo Wagner

The Central Transportation Port would bring not only economic benefits to Poland, but also improve security in the region by facilitating a quick transfer of troops, former US Army commander Ben Hodges told PAP.

The US general, who currently heads the department of strategic studies at the American Center for European Policy Analysis, spoke on Wednesday about the Central Transportation Port (CPK) with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. He also held talks at the Ministry of Infrastructure.

As Hodges said, even as the commander of US land forces in Europe, he was hoping such a transportation port would be built.

He assessed that Poland's planned new hub is what NATO needs in terms of military mobility. He pointed out that the mobility of troops is one of 17 projects under PESCO, a mechanism of permanent structural cooperation to deepen defence integration. He also noted the CPK's military usefulness for the whole Europe.

The former US Army officer said that the implementation of the project could lead to the development of roads and railways and the inclusion of CPK in the network of air connections.

In his opinion, the realisation of the CPK concept would help NATO troops to move as fast as the Russian Federation's forces or even faster, which is essential for preventing crises and for deterring.

According to Hodges many countries of central and eastern Europe are not linked in a strong, resilient manner.

The US general also referred to the presence of allied troops on the eastern flank as part of the American Atlantic Resolve initiative and NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP).

He said that the Saber Strike exercise to be held in June will be a good opportunity to continue the improvement of the eFP concept.

The Multinational North-East Corps in Szczecin, northwestern Poland as well as troops in Germany, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will take part in the manoeuvres with large-scale troop movements. This, Hodges said, will test and demonstrate the importance of a hub like CPK.

The new airport is to be built between Łódź and Warsaw and is to be one of the largest airport transfer hubs in Europe. After the first stage of construction, it is to serve up to 45 million passengers per year, and ultimately even approx. 100 million passengers. The port is to be built on approximately 3,000 hectares of land.