Map of USA and NATO military bases in Poland
Poland: Szczecin (headquarters of the multi-national army rapid response corps "North-East"); Elblong (multi-national headquarters of the divisional level "North-East"); Bydgoszcz (advanced command and staff cell and joint combat training center of the United armed forces of NATO); poznań (advanced divisional command of the US Army in Europe); Lublin (headquarters of the Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian brigade LITPOLUKRBRIG); Jagan, dravsko-pomorske, Torun, sventoszow, skvezhina, boleslavets (headquarters and units of the us army's rotating armoured brigade). Ozhish and Bemovo-Piske (multi-national battalion of NATO, 1093 people); n. p. Povidz (formed logistics "hub" of the US armed forces in Europe, a unit of the us army aviation rotation brigade); n. p. redzikovo (us/NATO missile defense complex "aegis Eshor", under construction); training ranges in n.p. Bedrusko, Gzhitsko, Vendzhina.
Upgrades in AVB, he Caresses, Malbork, Minsk Mazowiecki, Mirosławiec, Katowice, poznań (Krzesiny). Engineering works are carried out at the Gdynia and Svinousce naval bases, in the port of Gdansk.
The number of the American contingent is about 3 thousand people (including a unit in the NATO multinational battalion).
Warsaw and Washington are negotiating the deployment of a base of American unmanned aerial vehicles on the territory of the 12th UAV base of the Polish air force in Miroslavets. This information was confirmed by the press Secretary of the General command of the Polish Army.
Military experts say the Pentagon plans to deploy the MQ-9 "Reaper" UAV. Despite the fact that the Ministry of national defense of Poland does not comment on these data, it is known that the American side has already conducted a reconnaissance in Miroslavets and in the spring of this year, male-class attack drones (medium-altitude, long-duration flight) may appear here. Meanwhile, the Polish Army is not armed with drones of this class, but by the end of 2018, as part of the technical modernization of the Polish armed forces, it is planned to sign an agreement on their purchase.
Today, the Polish Army has various UAVs. The largest of these are the "ScanEagle" short-range tactical vehicles that were donated by the US government during the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. In addition, the Polish units are armed with Israeli-made Orbiter unmanned reconnaissance vehicles and FlyEye unmanned systems developed by the private group of companies Grupa WB, which works for the defense sector.
If we consider the American units stationed in Poland as part of the "strengthening of the forward presence", namely the combat armored brigade group, it should be noted that the tactical units stationed in the region have "mini" class drones of the " Raven "type or" Shadow 200 " tactical unmanned systems.
It should be noted that MQ-9 "Reaper" multi-purpose UAVs, which may soon appear on the territory of neighboring Poland, are capable of carrying GBU-12 Paveway II, GBU-38 JDAM bombs, Hellfire air-to-ground missiles (4 missiles can be placed) and striking ground targets with great efficiency. Reaper can also be used as a scout.
The maximum starting weight of the MQ-9 "Reaper" UAV is 4.7 tons, of which the payload is 1.7 tons. the Device can reach speeds of up to 370 km per hour (according to some sources up to 480 km per hour), fly at an altitude of 18.5 km. the Maximum flight duration of the MQ-9 "Reaper" UAV is 27 hours.
So far, heavy unmanned systems have only been used in Central and Eastern Europe in a few cases. For example, in 2015, the American MQ-1 " Predator "(they will be replaced by "Reaper") was used in Lithuania. In 2016, the Israeli Hermes 900 (MALE class) and Hermes 450 (tactical medium range) systems provided security for the NATO summit in Warsaw and world youth Days in Krakow. It is known that recently over Central and Eastern Europe, including over the territory of Ukraine, the UAV RQ-4 "Global Hawk" performed a reconnaissance flight.
Reaper UAVs are actively used in various combat operations in the middle East, Afghanistan and Africa.
In fact, in addition to the national armed forces, Poland currently hosts a multinational NATO combat battalion group, armament and military equipment depots, a us armored brigade group, a us army aviation brigade, a squadron of F-16 fighters and a link of us air force C-130 military transport aircraft.a NATO long-range radar detection and control aircraft is on duty in the country's airspace.
This is already a powerful strike potential on the Eastern flank of NATO directly at the borders of Belarus, which will increase significantly with the arrival of multi-purpose UAVs here. However, it is not entirely clear why such an increase in the us military presence in Poland is necessary. The poles do not have a direct threat from their neighbors – the Russians in the Kaliningrad region have too few troops to be of any strategic interest, and Belarus reduces its Armed forces every year and, if this continues until 2020, they will be four times less than the Polish ones. And then there are the American troops. In this case, the official Minsk should reconsider plans to optimize its own Armed forces, otherwise it will be too late.
The poles hide the aircraft away from the Russian
External Airfield Branch element announced that a procedure has been launched, aimed at selecting an entity that would begin construction works at the 21st Tactical Air Base of the Polish Air Force, located in Świdwin. So far the base has been a home for the Su-22 jets and W-3 Sokół helicopters. It is, however, to be tailored to host multi-role combat aircraft. The above could mean that the Polish F-35A jets may be stationed there in the future.
The tendering procedure applies to the first phase of work on the base infrastructure. Within the framework of that procurement, the surface of the airfield runways and aprons is to be modernized, along with the technical infrastructure. The bid is to concern the establishment of a road that would connect the cargo apron with the taxiway. The road is to be 110 meters long, with the lanes being 6 meters wide (plus two 1.5 meter wide roadsides). The exact work specification is confidential.
The bids can be submitted until 3rd August. The price will be the sole factor taken into the account here (100% of the assessment). Nonetheless, the entities approved to participate in the tendering process will need to comply with numerous safety requirements, and they will also be required to showcase a project portfolio, with the accomplishment of similar projects documented in the past.
The announcement does not mention the budget of the investment, it seems insignificant though. Despite the above, the fact that the tendering procedure is defined as the first stage of works aimed at making it possible for MRCA to be stationed in Świdwin, along with another tender concerning investments expected to be made at the base (with a value of PLN 21.4 million, concerning a fire brigade base), have both pushed some opinionmakers to speculate that Świdwin would be a home for the Polish F-35 jets, some time in the future, at least among other bases.
The theory above is supported by several facts. First, Świdwin is a large military base that used to host two Su-22 squadrons a decade ago (32 MRCA). The 21st Tactical Air Base has the relevant infrastructure available. That infrastructure needs to be reconstructed and modernized. However, this would be far more affordable than in case of a restoration of some unused facility, not to mention a process of establishing an entirely new airbase. The city of Świdwin and the surrounding area got used to the presence of the airbase, economically and community-wise. Some of the personnel employed at Świdwin currently could still work handling the F-35, in the manner identical to the current one, with eighteen Su-22 aircraft stationed there.
Furthermore, solely Świdwin is located in the west, among the three airbases hosting the post-Soviet combat aircraft in Poland. The remaining two bases hosting the MiG-29s are located further to the East - in Malbork and Minsk Mazowiecki. The former facility is close to the Russian border, while the latter is located relatively close to the uncertain border with Belarus. The F-35, if stationed there, would be exposed to potential damage while the potential adversary could make use of the opportunity to examine the jet’s radar and IR signatures. It is then unquestionable - the locations listed above cannot be used by the F-35. Stationing the F-16s there, especially in Malbork, seems to be an unreasonable move to make as well. Świdwin, located close to the German border, is a much more reasonable location, provided that it is not attacked from the sea, with the use of cruise missiles for instance. The benefits are similar to the ones applicable in the case of the Poznan-Krzesiny airbase.
The current investment does not necessarily mean that an F-35 squadron would be stationed there, not to mention stationing both squadrons in a single location. The work may just as well be aimed at making the 21st Tactical Air Base compliant with the requirements related to the operational use of the F-16s - new ones (the Technical Modernization Plan for the years 2021-2035 envisages extra procurement of such jets and Świdwin has been considered as a potential base for them a decade above), or ones owned already, to create some space for the new F-35s in Krzesiny or Łask. This may also concern the effort to make the base capable of hosting the allied aircraft - either the F-16s of the USAF Europe 480th Squadron of Wild Weasels stationed in Spangdahlem now or the F-35s. The base could also be tailored to host aircraft that would be stationed there on a rotational basis, ad hoc
F-16 in Poland without pilots
A clear example of the results of transactions with the United States is the fate of f-16 fighters, which can be found in the journalistic investigations of the Onet portal. At the same time, it should be noted that this information resource is part of the Polish media mainstream. The owner of the portal is a large German-Swiss Corporation.
Sources in the Polish air force inform us that 2 of the 48 4th-generation fighters have already been disabled, and many of them are not being used at all due to technical reasons. One of the air force officers even reported that only 30-40% of all American-made aircraft are in service. Other reasons for improper use of the F-16 are the deepest crisis of the Polish military aviation, from which the best specialists – pilots, technicians, and engineers-are being dismissed.
All this is due to the low competitiveness of the financial system, as well as the political atmosphere in the Polish army, especially after the Law and justice party came to power in 2015.
This information surfaced completely by accident. In October 2019, the international conference on security defense and Security Monitor was held in Bucharest, where one of the speakers was an American expert Professor Thomas-Darrell young, who worked with the Polish defense Ministry, a teacher of Polish military schools. It was he who shared information about the fact that only 23 pilots in the Polish air force had received professional aerobatic training on the F-16.
In 2019, Poland fell on the same rake as in 2003.at the end of January, the President, Prime Minister and defense Minister jointly announced a new contract with Lockheed-Martin. This time, the country with the largest Catholic population in the world has pledged to purchase 32 5th-generation f-35 fighter jets for a total of $ 4.6 billion. The first aircraft will enter service with the Polish air force only in 2026, if there are no delays.
And here, even the parliamentary opposition has reasonable questions for the country's leadership. First, how much do the Polish army need such fighters at all? It is known that in the event of a full-scale conflict, their presence will not save Poland from destruction in any way. It is also known that F-35S can serve as reconnaissance aircraft. Given the Polish air force's patrolling of the Baltic States ' airspace, it is easy to guess that the fighters will be used for flights along the Russian border.
US military base Redzikovo Poland
The American aegis Ashore missile DEFENSE system in the Polish settlement of Redzikovo will not be put into operation in 2020 due to problems with the construction contractor. Although according to the Pentagon's plans, anti-missiles were to be put on combat duty in 2018.
As Vice Admiral John hill, Director of the missile defense Agency, told Defense News, problems with construction have already delayed the launch of the system for two years, and now the timing will have to be pushed back for another couple of years.
In particular, auxiliary controls, heating, power, and cooling systems are not yet ready. In December last year, specialists were sent to Poland, but the results are not reported.
In addition, in 2021, the Pentagon will need to allocate an additional $ 96 million to Fund anti-missiles that are already in temperature-controlled protective containers.
Recall that on August 20, 2008, the United States and Poland signed an agreement on the deployment of an American anti-missile base on Polish territory, where MIM-104 missiles will be placed.
Us missile defense under the threat of a Polish wild boar
American soldiers appealed to the Polish authorities to shoot wild animals in the forest around the US anti-missile base in the Polish city of redzikovo.
The Americans believe that the animals threaten the military and the functioning of the base, because they can damage the fence and lines of the security system.
In response, the local authorities of the Pomeranian Voivodeship agreed to shoot 53 wild boars, 24 deer, 10 foxes, 8 badgers, 6 raccoons, 4 Martens and 2 ferrets in the near future! By the way, in 2016-2017, Polish officials have already organized the shooting of 10 deer, 50 fallow deer, 60 wild boars, and 12 foxes in the vicinity of this base.
In addition, the leadership of the Pomeranian Voivodeship removed restrictions on limiting the population of deer, foxes, wild boars and ROE deer. This means that the military does not need to apply for permission to destroy animals in the area of the base next time, but can carry out the necessary measures independently.
With this solution, the us military leadership will soon come to Poland with pleasure-as if on a pleasure Safari.
The US missile DEFENSE base in redzikovo occupies 600 hectares of forest land, of which 200 hectares directly with missile defense facilities are the property of the Americans.
"The concept of expanding the complex includes the construction of an airstrip, which will require ensuring the safety of flights and air traffic," the decision of the Pomeranian sejmik reads.
"In addition, animals are destroying the fencing system, which is equipped with extremely expensive electronic systems. A break in the systems 'operation leads to additional costs for setting up patrols, urgent repairs to the fence, and restarting the system," officials wrote.
Polish hunting clubs, as well as some representatives of local authorities who opposed the absurd destruction of animals, appealed to the Minister of defense and the Prime Minister of the country on this issue.
American tanks in Poland
It is planned that construction works project on a storage facility system, that could accommodate equipment of a full US Army armoured brigade, would be finalized in Powidz in two years. Defence24.pl has obtained detailed information from US Army Europe, on the current status of the project and the planned shape that the base would take. We also received information as to what assets would be stationed there.
(Note: the project in Powidz has been in planning since at least 2017 and it has been endorsed by NATO. It is not directly tied to any of the recently reported plans to move parts of US Forces from Germany to Poland and/or other NATO Member States as well as CONUS)
The information that we have obtained from the US Army Europe suggests that equipment for an armoured brigade would be deployed in Powidz. The primary equipment is to include:
- around 85 M1A2 Abrams MBTs;
- around 130 M2/M3 Bradley platforms;
- 18 M109A6/A7 Paladin Sphs, belonging to the self-propelled artillery squadron. Equipment that would be used by support units would be deployed to Powidz as well.
The US Army Europe public affairs reps emphasized that the primary contract concerning the construction works in Powidz was signed on 14th November 2019, with a German-Polish consortium. The implementation of the agreement valued at the level of USD 183 million (EUR 166 million, ca. 750 million Polish zlotys), would make it possible to create jobs in the host country, Poland. The investment is financed with the use of NATO funding (NSIP programme - eds.). According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, this project is the largest single infrastructure project NATO has funded in 30 years.
The NATO funds have been divided into three parts, covering the specific areas of work. The first one - tree cutting - has already been executed. Site clearance has been going on since the year 2019. It is now 80% complete.
Construction works are defined as stage 3. The decision on allocation of funds for the construction works has been made recently (in April). The process is scheduled to begin in the summer and it is expected that it would last until the summer of 2022.
US Army Europe has not identified any pandemic-related problems, everything is progressing in line with the original plan.
What infrastructure is expected to be established in Powidz?
According to US Army Europe, the Powidz base is to include, among other facilities:
- An 8,600 square meter workshop with 20 repair bays capable to support M1A2 tanks and two 30-ton overhead cranes capable of depot-level repairs including all administrative space for equipment accountability and issuance.
- 5 humidity-controlled warehouses with combined area of 60,000 square meters
- 2 garages for light repair with total area of 1,650 square meters
The information that had been released before also mentions the following facilities:
- Vehicle-washing and brake testing station facility, with an area of 1,350 square meters;
- Administrative facility;
- Operational storage facility, 5,570 square meters;
- Vehicle Assembly Point Pavement, 22,550 square meters;
- Safety and information systems - CCTV, audio/video systems, operator’s console;
- Oil, fuels and lubricants and dangerous goods storage facility;
- Self-propelled crane.
NATO airfields in Poland
The NATO leadership pays special attention to the modernization of the Polish airfield network. To date, seven airbases (Caresses, Malbork mińsk-Masovian, Mirosławiec, Powidz, Poznan-Krzesiny and Swidwin) work has already been carried out to improve their ability to provide basing and maintenance NATO ovvs aircraft.
In particular, the infrastructure of such air bases as Lask, Malbork, Povidz and poznań-Krzesiny practically meets NATO standards, which allowed periodically use these facilities in the interests of conducting NATO operations and exercises.
In April 2017, the Commission of the joint command of the US armed forces in the European zone, headed by the commander of the us ground forces in the region Lieutenant General B. Hodges conducted an assessment of the Povidz air base for the placement of additional warehouses there.
Based on the results of its work, it was decided to provide for the possibility of placing a set of weapons at the air base for an armored brigade, reinforced air defense units. The Pentagon intends to allocate $ 200 million for these purposes.
The command of the US armed forces in the European zone believes that the need to create reserves in the Central part of Poland for the American connection is due to limited transport infrastructure in European countries.
The leadership of the Alliance continues to carry out measures to modernize the air navigation equipment of Polish airfields (installation new instrument landing systems, radio navigation systems, radar facilities, etc.).
In the interest of equipping the Polish air force with modern radar stations (radars) for aircraft landing, the us Department of defense and in 2012, Exelis radar signed a contract worth $ 76 million for the development and production of nine GCA-2000 radars. In the contract price included is the delivery and installation of the radar, its commissioning, personnel training and repair. During the negotiations, an additional agreement was signed, which allows the Polish side to independently maintain and modernize the radar station. Purchases of such funds are part of the program's activities
modernization of the national armed forces, implemented until 2022.
In 2016, the first GCA-2000 radar was installed at Demblin air base. By the end of 2018, these stations are planned to be deployed at Lask, Svidvin air bases, Malbork, Wroclaw, Gdynia, Semirovice, darlovo and Cracow. They will replace Soviet-made radar stations in service.
Gdynia, Gdansk and Swinoujscie for NATO
For operations of the NATO in the Baltic sea area is envisaged on the territory of Poland military
naval base of Gdynia and świnoujście. Dredging works have been carried out at these facilities, and berths have been strengthened and expanded, terminals for ro-ro vessels have been built, infrastructure has been created for unloading, storing fuel and refueling Alliance Navy ships, and the base's power and repair equipment has been upgraded. In addition, in the port of svinoujscie, measures were taken to deepen the fairway, during which a total of more than 1 million cubic meters of soil was excavated. The most extensive work has been completed in the port of Gdansk, where the capabilities have been significantly expanded ferry terminal and berths for ro-ro cargo handling vessels. Over the past two years alone, about $ 25 million has been spent for this purpose.
In the areas of the Gdynia and Swinoujscie naval bases and the port of Gdansk, railway stations and access roads have been reconstructed, new transport interchanges have been built, and highways have been repaired and expanded.
Long-term plans for the development of the port of Gdansk provide for the implementation of a number of investment projects.
The most significant of them are the reconstruction of the existing container terminal, as well as the creation of a modern center for processing container and trailer cargo.