ORZYSZ, Poland -- President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, Minister of National Defense, Antoni Macierewicz, Commander of U.S. European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti and ambassadors of NATO Allied countries, addressed hundreds of soldiers from multinational forces during a welcome ceremony for Battle Group Poland at Land Forces Field Training Center April 13, 2017.
NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence operation is an Allied, forward deployment defense and deterrence posture in Eastern Europe to protect and reassure NATO’s eastern member nations of their security.
Battle Group Poland is comprised of soldiers from the United States, United Kingdom, Romania and Poland that will be under the Polish Army's 15th Mechanized Brigade located in the town of Orzysz.
“Along with the multinational battle groups in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and the tailored presence in the southeast, you now form NATO’s eastern flank,” said Gen. Scaparrotti.
The battle group is comprised of multiple nations providing unique aspects and capabilities to the overall collective defense a security cooperation of the Alliance.
“Our battle group will work together with the U.K. light dragoons as the reconnaissance company, the Romanians which are providing us with air defense capabilities and my squadron, that came with three infantry companies, as well as an artillery battery,” said Lt. Col. Steven Gventer, commander of eFP Battle Group Poland. “When we put all that together, we became a relatively good size battle group with good capabilities.”
The multinational contribution to eFP demonstrates the collective and individual resolve of Allies and will provide a responsive and flexible military capability to respond to any aggressive act as part of NATO’s overall deterrence and defensive posture.
"It's not an exaggeration to say that this moment has been awaited by generations of Poles since the end of the Second World War," President Andrzej Duda said as he addressed the battle group soldiers. “Those were generations of Poles who dreamed about us becoming political members of a just, solidarity-based, democratic and free Western world.”
“This freedom is strong because it is defended by the heroic stance of NATO soldiers of the largest military defensive NATO Alliance in the world,” said President Duda.
NATO Allies are executing the decision that was made during the NATO Summit held in Warsaw, Poland in July 2016 to establish NATO’s forward presence in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland and to develop a tailored forward presence in the Black Sea region.
U.S. Ambassador to Poland, Paul W. Jones quoted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during his speech at the welcoming ceremony.
“The United States is committed to ensuring NATO has the capabilities to support our collective defense,” said Jones as he recited Tillerson. “We understand that a threat against one of us, is a threat against all of us and we will respond accordingly. We will uphold the agreements we have made to defend our Allies and these are not just words.”
Having a multinational presence working in cooperation to support NATO's eFP battle groups is a demonstration of the Alliance’s commitment to the Article 5 principle. NATO’s eFP is part of the overall deterrence posture and signifies that an attack on or minor incursion into an allied territory, would be immediately countered by allied military forces.
“Thank you to the soldiers and the families that understand you’re serving here in a foreign land, on this foreign soil, and let me assure you this is brotherly soil,” said President Duda.
This work, Battle Group Poland is hailed in Orzysz, Poland, by SGT Justin Geiger, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.