Groundbreaking at the US Ballistic Missile Defense Base in Redzikowo
“It is truly an important day for Poland, for NATO, for Europe, it is an important day for peace in Europe and in the world,” added the Defence Minister, while stressing that: “Never and in no way are these efforts to be perceived as an aggressive act towards anyone.” As the head of the Defence Ministry further stressed: “The main motive, cause and purpose of our efforts was defense, and to increase Poland’s security, and that of our Allies.”
The groundbreaking ceremony at the base was attended by the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work, the Defense Minister of Romania, Mihnea Ioan Biker, Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Witold Waszczykowski, Assistant NATO Secretary General for Defense Investment Patrick Auroy, representatives of the highest authorities of the Republic of POLAND and other States hosting components of the U.S. missile defense system in Europe, as well as representatives of local and regional authorities of the Słupsk region.
“The missile defense system will strengthen the security of Poland, being a permanent element of NATO’s infrastructure,” said President Andrzej Duda. As he further noted: “Even though Poland has been a NATO member now for several years, we have been waiting for a long time for the Alliance to come to Poland in a permanent, stable sense as well. Indeed this is occurring today,” said the Polish President.
The U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work said that: “NATO's missile defense system is a defensive system, fully compatible with arms-control agreements and is not aimed at Russia, nor will it have the ability to reduce the strategic deterrence potential of that country.” He added that: “The system was intended solely to protect Allied States, including Poland, against the threat of ballistic missiles from outside the Euro-Atlantic region.” (...)
Apart from the groundbreaking ceremony at Redzikowo, Poland’s Defence Minister met for a bilateral meeting with the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, Robert Work, as well as with the Romanian Defense Minister, Mihnea Ioan Motoc.
Cooperation in the area of missile defense is one of the key elements of the Polish-American strategic partnership. As part of this cooperation, an American missile defense installation will be deployed. It will provide for the defense of Poland and significant parts of the European continent belonging to the North Atlantic Alliance against a limited ballistic missile attack, primarily from the Middle East.
The base will be purely defensive in character.
The Poland-based Redzikowo installation will consist primarily of missile launchers (Standard Missile–3) and associated radar. Together with other such elements of the so-called EPAA (European Phased Adaptive Approach), the base at Redzikowo will constitute the U.S. contribution to the developing anti-missile defense system of NATO (the so-called NATO BMD), whose aim is to assure the defense of the population, territory and armed forces of NATO in the face of growing missile attack threats.
The location of Redzikowo as a base will bring about tangible strategic and defensive benefits for the Republic of Poland. First, it will provide a unique, in the scale of NATO, ability to defend against medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles. Such capacity, due to the high cost and time involved with their development, serves few Member States. Secondly, it will be a constant element of the U.S., and simultaneously, Allied military infrastructure in our country.
The legal basis for the deployment of the military base is the Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of Poland and the Government of the United States of America concerning the Deployment of Anti-ballistic Defensive Interceptor Missiles, as entered into in Warsaw on 20 August 2008, and the Protocol Amending the Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of Poland and the Government of the United States of America concerning the Deployment of Anti-ballistic Defensive Interceptor Missiles, as entered into in Warsaw on 20 August 2008, executed in Kraków on 3 July 2010 (JoL of 2011, No. 219, art.1298).
Construction works at the base are to be completed in 2018. At that time, the installation should become a component of the Allied ant-ballistic missile defense system.