NATO functioning efficiently despite pandemic - president
Polish President Andrzej Duda on Monday assured Poles that NATO, despite the pandemic, was working efficiently.
President Duda, in Ustka, northern Poland, to observe the DEFENDER Europe 20 Plus military exercise, said that the fact that the manoeuvres had taken place, although on a limited scale, showed that NATO was functioning efficiently, even under the most difficult conditions.
The president, accompanied by Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, observed the main tactical element of Joint Fire training during the Anaconda-20 military exercise at the Central Air Force Training Ground.
The exercise included F-16 aircraft which fired US Maverick missiles that hit targets located several kilometres from the beach, far into the Baltic Sea. Also in action were KRAB self-propelled howitzers.
"All targets have been hit," announced the president as he congratulated all the generals and crews and "all those who prepared the exercise."
Duda, the commander-in-chief of the Polish Armed Forces, noted that taking place alongside the Anaconda-20 exercise was DEFENDER Europe 20 Plus, an international exercise that had been organised by the US Army Command in Europe.
"Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic hindered both exercises from being held full scale," said the president, adding that the very fact they were held and attended by US troops and soldiers from several other countries "shows that NATO is functioning, even under the most difficult conditions."
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said that the exercise served to improve cooperation among various types of armed forces. Noting the importance of modern military equipment, Blaszczak said that the KRAB self-propelled tracked howitzers, produced by the Stalowa Wola Steelmill, were "passing the test."