US troops fly in to Poland

US military equipment began arriving in Poland on Friday.

US troops from the 82nd Airborne Division after landing at the airport in Jasionka.

US troops from the 82nd Airborne Division after landing at the airport in Jasionka. PAP/Darek Delmanowicz

 First of the planes with US troops from the 82nd Airborne Division flew in to the airport in Jasionka, outside the south-eastern city of Rzeszów. 

 The additional deployment is part of efforts to bolster NATO’s eastern flank amid the West’s standoff with Russia over Ukraine.

 On Friday, US military equipment began to arrive in Poland.

 Poland’s Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said in a Twitter post on Friday that „more American planes” were „landing in Poland” in preparation for the deployment of US soldiers. In an earlier tweet, Błaszczak announced that an „advance group” had arrived in Poland the previous day.

 Two days earlier, the Pentagon announced that the United States would send 1,700 extra troops to Poland and around 1,000 to Romania to reassure its Eastern European NATO allies in the face of a major Russian military buildup near Ukraine.

 A spokesman for the US Defense Department said on Wednesday that around 1,700 US service members, mainly from the 82nd Airborne Division, will deploy from Fort Bragg, North Carolina to Poland, while a Stryker squadron of about 1,000 service members based in Vilseck, Germany will be sent to Romania, Three hundred other service members will move from Fort Bragg to Germany, the Pentagon spokesman, John Kirby, told a news conference.

 The aim is to send a „strong signal” to Russian President Vladimir Putin „and frankly, to the world, that NATO matters to the United States and it matters to our allies,” Kirby told reporters.

 He added: „These are not permanent moves. They respond to current conditions. We will adjust our posture as those conditions evolve.”

 Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in response to Wednesday’s announcement that Washington’s decision to send more troops to Poland, Romania and Germany amid fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine was a symbol of allied unity and a warning to Vladimir Putin against taking any further military action.

 Around 4,500 American troops are already stationed in Poland on a rotating basis.

Source: IAR/PAP

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