Poland welcomed a multinational battalion on its soil this week as a response to possible Russian aggression against its former satellites. The 1,000 man force is not permanent but rotated on a permanent basis. Equipment has been prepositioned for the battalion’s use.
“It’s not an exaggeration to say that generations of Poles have waited for this moment since the end of the Second World War,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said in the northeastern town of Orzysz as he addressed the troops and the U.S. and British ambassadors, reports Associated Press.
The ground force includes troops led by the United States, along with soldiers from Britain, Romania, and later Croatia.
Their base of operations, Orzysz, is 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the border with Kaliningrad, a Russian territory on the Baltic Sea separated from the Russian mainland, reports AP.
The force is separate from 3,500 troops which arrived on the German border of Poland earlier this year.
Russia has used the buildup of NATO forces as a reason to continue its military buildup, which initiated the NATO buildup in the first place. NATO encroachment on Russian borders has been a long-term complaint of the Kremlin.