US Army 5th Corps forward command officially established in Poznań

Mariusz Błaszczak was speaking at the inauguration in Poznań of the forward command of the 5th US Army Corps on Friday. Jakub Kaczmarczyk/PAP

The defence minister has welcomed the establishment of a new US army headquarters in Poland, saying its presence will deter a “potential aggressor”.

Mariusz Błaszczak was speaking at the inauguration in Poznań of the forward command of the 5th US Army Corps on Friday. The command will help raise the number of US troops in Poland to around 5,500.

"The presence of the forward command here, on Polish soil, is a guarantee that will deter a potential aggressor. From Poznań, the 5th Corps will command the US land forces operating on NATO's eastern flank," said Błaszczak.

He added that the command's presence will also "accelerate the possible transfer of US forces to Poland."

The minister said that joint Polish-US defence programmes serve the security of not only Poland, but also NATO countries located on the eastern flank of the Alliance and "the whole free world”.

Cooperation within NATO, he added, is "the best guarantee of security and stability."

Reminding his audience that an agreement between Poland and the USA on enhanced defence cooperation was ratified two weeks ago by President Andrzej Duda, Błaszczak said that "today we are witnessing that this agreement is entering into force, we are witnessing the implementation of the provisions of this agreement."

Speaking at the ceremony Georgette Mosbacher, US ambassador to Poland, said the inauguration is an important step in the strengthening of Polish-US relations and as well as raising security in Europe.

"It’s a huge success which proves how important the alliance with Poland is for us! Our commitment to NATO is ironclad," the ambassador added in a tweet.