US Army sets up permanent presence in Poland

Jakub Kaczmarczyk/PAP

The US Army established its first permanent base in Poland on Tuesday.

The facility, offically called the US Army Garrison Poland and based in the western city of Poznan, will serve as the headquarters of the forward command of the US Army's V Corps.

"Today we are witnessing the inauguration of the permanent presence of the US military garrison on Polish soil," Mariusz Blaszczak, the Polish defence minister, said during an official opening ceremony. "This is an important event both in the history of Poland and in the history of Polish-American relations."

"It is important that the Western world is united, that the Western world feels safe, and it feels safe when our armed forces cooperate," he added.

According to Blaszczak, the organisation of the US garrison in Poland has been carried out in close cooperation between the two armies. "It is important for the security of our country, but also for the security of the entire eastern flank of Nato," he said.

Mark Brzezinski, the US ambassador to Poland, said the presence of the US Army in Poland builds durable security for Poland.

"It is a sign that we're going to stay here, that the United States is committed to Poland and Nato and that we're united in the face of the Russian aggression," Brzezinski added.

John Kolasheski, commanding general of V Corps, said the garrison was proof of US involvement in ensuring the security of Europe and Poles.

Kolasheski also said that more allied troops were currently stationed in Poland than ever before and that the garrison's seemingly unassuming role was important for maintaining battle readiness of allied military units.

The headquarters consist of 13 military and 140 civilian personnel and, in March, the Pentagon said the first soldiers to man the facility had had already reached their destination.

The establishment of the headquarters and the garrison result from a decision by US President Joe Biden made at the Nato summit in Madrid in 2022.

The US maintains similar facilities in Belgium, Germany and Italy.