US may redeploy troops from Germany to Poland

Polish Air Force taking on NATO Air Policing duties in Estonia early on this year.
Polish Air Force taking on NATO Air Policing duties in Estonia early on this year. Source: Jaan Vanaaseme

The United States is likely to redeploy thousands of military personnel from Germany to neighboring Poland, President Donald Trump said Wednesday, after a meeting with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda in Washington.

U.S. troops in Europe were the main topic on the table at the meeting, ERR's online news in Estonian reports, citing AP and BNS.

Poland joined NATO in 1999, five years before Estonia; both countries, together with Lithuania and Latvia, have NATO Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) battlegroups operating on a rotational basis. Poland's eFP is U.S.-led, Estonia's is U.K.-led, and has been bolstered by personnel from France, Belgium and Denmark.

In addition, as NATO members, the Baltic States get the use of alliance air forces - including Poland's - in Baltic air policing operations.

As reported on ERR News, Trump announced his decision last week to roughly halve the contingent of U.S. forces in Germany to around 25,000, citing concerns over the latter's NATO contributions as the main factor.

Trump has said that at least some of these troops will be redeployed to Poland, though numbers have not been firmed up and logistics, even crossing one internal EU land border, need to be considered, including what to do with forces members' families, children in school etc.

The U.S. Department of Defense is however investigating options of transferring up to 10,000 personnel or over 20 percent of the current Germany complement.

Vying for U.S. attention with Poland and Central and Eastern Europe are other areas of the world including the Pacific region.

Current U.S. numbers in Germany consist of around 47,000 people, both military and civilian, spread across several bases, headquarters and other locations. The largest single base is the Ramstein air base in southwestern Germany.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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