US to send twelve F-16 fighter jets to Poland
March 7, 2014
US Ambassador to Poland stephen Mull and Poland's Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak
The US will send to Poland twelve F-16 jet fighters and 300-strong technical personnel, probably next week, for a training exercise, Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemioniak and US ambassador Stephen Mull told a joint press conference in Warsaw on Thursday.
US Air Forces exercises due to take place in March in Poland will be held in an extended format at Poland’s request following the worsening situation in the neighboring Ukraine, Siemoniak said.
“We turned to the USA with regard to the situation in Ukraine asking to consider actions that might expand the US presence in Poland,” Siemoniak said.
US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said on Wednesday that in view of the Ukrainian crisis the US would expand its military cooperation with Poland and Baltic States.
According to Siemoniak Washington’s decision to hold the upcoming exercises in an expanded scope shows that the US as a more close ally is able to react quickly to such requests and expectations.
"When we face such a dramatic challenge for our security, we need to reassure our allies that our security guarantees are valid," U.S. ambassador to Poland Stephen Mull said at the joint press conference with Siemoniak.
The exercises will be held at the Łask air force base, in central Poland.