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NATO confirms plans for $260 million US storage site in Poland

Vehicles from the 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Infantry Division out of Fort Riley, Kansas, stop at checkpoint Olszyna for an inspection from the Polish Armed Force’s movement control group and military police. The unit was convoying across eastern Europe to prepare for their nine month rotation in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, with multinational training events in Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania. (Staff Sgt. True Thao/U.S. Army)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

NATO has confirmed that it plans to establish a storage facility in Poland for U.S. military equipment, including armored vehicles, ammunition, and weapons to arm a full brigade.

A NATO official on March 23 told AFP that a report earlier by The Wall Street Journal that said the $260 million facility would be located in Powidz, some 200 kilometers west of Warsaw, was accurate.

The WSJ quoted NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg as saying work on the site will begin this summer and take two years to complete.

Since Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, Poland, the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia as well as other Eastern European states have expressed concerns about their security.

The United States has deployed and rotated troops in the region since the Ukraine crisis began in an effort to deter Russia. NATO has also increased its presence near Russia’s borders.

Stoltenberg told the WSJ that the storage facility would help “underpin the increased U.S. presence in Poland.”

Poland has been calling for more U.S. military personnel to be deployed on its territory, with Warsaw suggesting to U.S. President Donald Trump recently that he create a permanent base under the name “Fort Trump.”

The NATO chief said the alliance will complete some 250 other infrastructure projects across Europe designed to increase the capacity of airports, harbors, railways, and roads to handle heavy equipment by 2021, the WSJ said.