Breedlove: Detachment in Poland Reflects Commitment to Europe
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 29, 2013 The ongoing air training detachment mission in Poland stands as just one example of the fact that, despite the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region, the United States remains committed to building strategic partnerships in Europe, the top U.S. and NATO commander reported in his latest blog post.
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, center, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, talks with airmen assigned to the rotational U.S. Aviation Detachment at Lask Air Base, Poland, July 24, 2013. The Air Force established the first permanent U.S. military presence in Poland in October 2012. DOD photo by D. Myles Cullen
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove called the standup of the Aviation Detachment in Poland last fall a significant step in the 236-year U.S. relationship with Poland. The detachment represents the first full-time U.S. military presence in Poland, with the fourth rotation preparing to begin operations soon.
“Our security relationship has never been closer,” Breedlove said of the U.S. and Polish militaries, which fought together during World War I and in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. “Increased cooperation, like the kind evident in the aviation detachment, will continue to strengthen our interoperability and partnership.”
The detachment “represents a wider, broader trend of continued commitment and engagement in Europe,” Breedlove said.
“Our engagements with our European allies and partners is rooted in shared history, interests and values, cemented through NATO and the ironclad commitment to our mutual security,” he said. “Whether on the ground, at sea or in the air, [U.S. European Command] and NATO remain engaged across the continent to promote interoperability, capability and increased military capacity.”
For example, U.S. Army Europe took part earlier this month in the bilateral Atlas Vision exercise with Russian ground forces, he noted. U.S. Naval Forces Europe recently joined its counterparts from nine other regional nations during the Sea Breeze exercise aimed at improved maritime safety, security and stability engagements in the Black Sea.
In addition, U.S. Air Forces in Europe currently is taking part in the bilateral Juniper Stallion 13 exercise in Israel designed to promote cooperation between U.S. and Israeli defense forces and by extension, enhance regional peace, stability and security.
In November, NATO will conduct exercise Steadfast Jazz 2013 in the Baltic states and Poland.
“Exercises with our European partners, whether bilateral or multinational, increase the capability and interoperability of all of our military forces,” he said.
Breedlove noted increased cooperation between the United States and Poland that he said supports both countries’ national interests as well as NATO’s collective security. As the aviation detachment plays a role in Poland’s continued defense modernization and standardization with U.S. and NATO forces, it promotes closer cooperation in regional security efforts, he said.
Increased cooperation like the kind evident in the detachment will continue to strengthen interoperability and partnership between the two nations, Breedlove said. “The United States and Poland, as well as all of Europe, share an enduring and cooperative relationship which I am confident will continue in the decades ahead as we secure our future together,” he said.