WASHINGTON, June 29, 2017 —
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis highlighted NATO's enhanced forward presence in Europe during a meeting today with Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said.
The United States and Poland are partnered as framework and host nations, respectively, for the initiative, White said in a statement summarizing the meeting, which took place on the margins of a meeting of the alliance's defense ministers in Brussels.
Mattis thanked Macierewicz for hosting numerous U.S. forces, including portions of an armored brigade combat team as well as the U.S. enhanced forward presence battle group, White said.
"Secretary Mattis emphasized the United States' steadfast commitment to the NATO alliance," she added, and noted that Poland sets the example by meeting the defense spending pledge agreed upon at NATO's 2014 summit in Wales and investing in modernization. Nations that sign on to the pledge promise to spend at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense.
Both defense leaders stressed the importance of standing shoulder to shoulder to keep Europe whole and free, White said.
Mattis is in Brussels on the second leg of a two-nation trip that also took him to Germany.