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Poland plans to extend US air base, defense minister says

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Poland will expand military base hosting US Combat Aviation Brigade, bulking up US presence in EU member state

Poland will expand a military base hosting the US Combat Aviation Brigade, the country’s defense minister said.

Located in the central city of Powidz, the base – which hosts US Apache strike helicopters – will strengthen US Air Force operational capabilities to support Polish and NATO forces, Mariusz Blaszczak said.

“For these helicopters, we will prepare a base in the form of hangars, warehouses on the one hand, and a fuel base on the other hand, so that they can operate from Powidz, so that they can support Polish forces and the forces of the North Atlantic Alliance in this way,” he said.

Blaszczak also recalled the decision of the US Army Command in Europe and Africa, confirmed in June at the NATO summit by US President Joe Biden, to transfer the permanent command of the US Army V Corps to Poznan, where the forward command previously functioned.

Powidz “is turning into a military complex, preparing to support Polish and NATO forces on the eastern flank of NATO,” Blaszczak said.

The expansion is part of the 2020 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement between Washington and Warsaw, which covers 114 infrastructure projects at 11 locations.

Warsaw also intends to build up its own military potential by purchasing helicopters and tanks from the US. It is expected to receive Abrams tanks next year.

Biden said recently that US forces “temporarily” deployed to Poland would be likely to stay there for a “long time.”

“Today we are recording another important stage in our bilateral relations, and this means increasing security and stability in Poland and the entire region,” said Mark Brzezinski, US ambassador to Poland.

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