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    Deputy Prime Minister Mariusz Błaszczak begins today a visit to the USA

    Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense, Mariusz Błaszczak, is set to visit the United States and Canada from May 4th to May 8th. During his visit, Błaszczak will visit the Camden Lockheed Martin plant in Arkansas, where the Himars artillery system is produced, which will soon be delivered to Poland. On May 5th, he will meet with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin to discuss topics including Polish-American military cooperation, security in NATO’s eastern flank and Europe, military interoperability, and US military presence in Poland.

    Błaszczak and Austin will sign an agreement on mutual defense procurement, which will tighten cooperation in the military-technical field. In addition, a wall dedicated to Poland-US cooperation will be unveiled at the Department of Defense building. Błaszczak will also participate in the traditional Constitution of May 3rd parade in Chicago, meet with the Polish community, and attend the 300th anniversary of the existence of the Illinois National Guard.

    Furthermore, Błaszczak will have meetings with representatives of the US defense industry. On May 7th in Toronto, he will lay wreaths at the Katyń Memorial, the Smolensk plaque, and the Sybirak plaque, as well as at the Blue Army Soldiers Cemetery of General J. Haller. On May 8th, a bilateral meeting with Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand is planned in Ottawa to discuss further support for Ukraine, cooperation within NATO, the development of technical modernization, and increased cooperation between Canadian reserve units and the Polish Territorial Defense Forces.

    This visit comes after Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, and as part of support for NATO’s eastern flank, the United States sent an additional 5,000 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division of the US Army to south-eastern Poland. Along with these forces, the number of US troops in Poland exceeds 10,000 soldiers. Additionally, the Americans have deployed two Patriot missile batteries in Poland, demonstrating allied solidarity in NATO and mutual security guarantees.

    In August 2020, an agreement was signed to strengthen the permanent presence of US troops in Poland. One of its provisions was the establishment of the V Corps Forward Headquarters in Poland, a unit responsible for commanding US Forces in Europe located on the alliance’s eastern flank. In November 2020, the inauguration of the V Corps Forward Headquarters took place in Poznań. It is the only structure of this command level deployed in Europe, and US ground forces on the continent can be commanded from Poland.

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