22 XII 2017

“Your service strengthens Poland's security”

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-    The medals and congratulatory letters that I had the honor to gave You, which also were handed to You by Maj. Gen. Sławomir Wojciechowski, are proof of how much we value your all efforts. But these awards are also a testimony to show how the security in Poland depends on the activities which are fulfilled on the missions within the contingent - said the Minister of National Defense Antoni Macierewicz during a meeting with troops of the Polish Military Contingent in Bagram.
zdjęcie - “Your service strengthens Poland's security”

On Monday and Tuesday (18-19.12) the Head of the Ministry of National Defense paid a visit to Afghanistan – military bases: Bagram and Kandahar, where he met with Polish troops and representatives of the Command of the Resolute Support mission - Lieutenant General R. Cripwell, Major General K. Smith and Commander of Bagram Air Field Major General L. Quintas. The Minister also talked to US Army Chief of Staff General General Mark A. Milley.

On the first day, Head of MOD visited troops serving in Kandahar. During the meeting, Minister Macierewicz gave medals for “Serving to the defense of Poland” to several troops of special forces. - Please remember that what are you doing here enhances the strength and security of Poland. Today, before the Eve of Christmas, I want to thank you. (...) Your presence here is perceived in close connection with the security of all Poles. (...) I congratulate decorated troops, but I also want to say that it is the result of work of the whole team - said Minister Macierewicz.

On Monday, minister Macierewicz met with soldiers serving in a mission under the 7th rotation of PMC Afghanistan in Bagram base. - Our mission is not just about the fact that we support here NATO and US Forces, because they support us. This is very important. They support us, that is a fact. But they are stationing on the Eastern Flank of NATO, being sure that Poland will be as solidary as they are - said Minister Antoni Macierewicz in his speech, thanking troops for their service.

-    We all have met the day before Christmas, the day before the birth of Jesus Christ, who brought peace to people. But you have to fight for peace. Here must be present those who are willing to sacrifice their lives for peace. And you are among them. Therefore, I am honored that I can be with you today and share the holy wafer with you - added Minister Macierewicz.

In the afternoon, the Head of the Ministry of National Defense together with the troops participated in a Holy mass devoted to soldiers serving abroad and those who fell during the service. Minister Macierewicz, together with the Polish delegation, lit candles at plates commemorating Polish and American troops who died in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, Minister of National Defense Antoni Macierewicz took part in a meeting with Polish troops in Bagram base. The discussions concerned reforms introduced in the army over the last two years and plans for the upcoming year. Minister, as well as the Maj. Gen. Sławomir Wojciechowski and Brig. Gen. Wojciech Marchwica discussed, among others, on the future changes of cadre of NCOs, as well as changes in military education.

On Tuesday’s afternoon, the Head of MOD participated in a videoconference with Deputy Commander of Resolute Support, General R. Cripwell. During the talks, discussed the current situation in Afghanistan, as well as the plans for the next year. General Cripwell stressed the need to guarantee the security of the entire population of Afghanistan. Also, there were presented plans to enhance the existing formation of the Afghan Army and creating new types of Armed Forces. Gen. Cripwell thanked for Poland's contribution to Afghanistan's security and underlined the highest quality of the mission conducted by Polish troops.

Minister Macierewicz also talked to US Army Chief of Staff General General Mark A. Milley. During a conversation, interlocutors exchanged their observations on the situation in Afghanistan and Eastern Flank. Minister Macierewicz emphasized the importance of strengthening the presence of American Force.

During his stay in Afghanistan, the Minister of National Defense also visited the main hospital located in the Bagram base, where he talked, among others, to the Commander of the Hospital and doctors about medical protection for troops and civilian employees, serving as part of the Resolute Support mission.

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