Powidz LTESMC opens with ceremony

By Staff Sgt. Ondirae Abdullah-Robinson, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs OfficeApril 18, 2023

Powidz LTESMC opens with ceremony
POWIDZ, Poland — U.S. Soldiers from 4th Infantry Division and Polish soldiers participate in the opening ceremony for Poland's first Long Term Equipment Storage and Maintenance Complex at Air Base Powidz, April 5, 2023. The LTESMC is NATO's most significant single infrastructure investment in more than 30 years and will be able to host a U.S. brigade's worth of combat-ready military equipment. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Agustín Montañez) (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Agustín Montañez) VIEW ORIGINAL

POWIDZ, Poland — The Minister of National Defense of the Republic of Poland and the U.S. ambassador to Poland participated in an opening ceremony of the Long-Term Equipment Storage and Maintenance Complex to demonstrate the bilateral ability to respond quickly in support of European allies and partners in the time of crisis on April 5, 2023, in Powidz, Poland.

This is NATO’s biggest single infrastructure investment in more than 30 years and is the culmination of over six years of effort by many partners. With NATO’s investment, the Long-Term Equipment Storage and Maintenance Complex will be able to host a U.S. armored brigade combat team’s worth of combat-ready military equipment.

“The strategic partnership with the United States and Poland’s active membership in the North Atlantic alliance are the pillars of our homeland’s security,” said Mariusz Blaszczak, the Minister of National Defense of the Republic of Poland. “This base is important because thanks to this, we increase our deterrence capabilities, and we also show solidarity within NATO.”

This ceremony highlights the strength of the NATO alliance through the execution of the NATO Security Investment Program (NSIP). This project's unanimous support across the alliance demonstrates the commitment to enhancing security across Europe. Powidz was strategically selected to support the alliance’s ability to respond quickly and decisively to any crisis in the region.

“There will be seven gigantic warehouses stationed here on Polish soil full of heavy equipment — over 2,700 pieces, from tanks to Bradley (Fighting) Vehicles, all of it belonging to the U.S. armored brigade combat team,” said Mark Brzezinski, the U.S. ambassador to Poland. “This facility will ensure we can continue to be fast. It will allow us to deploy an entire armored brigade combat team in an expeditious manner, and it will significantly cut down on deployment timelines.”

The infrastructure will be critical to force projection; it allows additional equipment available in Europe, which reduces deployment timelines and provides additional combat power for contingency operations. These facilities will also enhance the smooth rotation of U.S. forces in Poland and further the relationship between Poland and the United States.

“Since its accession in 1999, Poland has been a strong NATO ally and a linchpin of regional security in Central Europe and the proof is right before our eyes”, said Lt. Gen. Steven L. Basham, deputy commander of the U.S. European Command. “This NATO-funded project reinforces Poland’s enduring commitment to the alliance and Euro-Atlantic security.”

The Army Prepositioned Stocks program enhances U.S. Army Europe and Africa’s readiness and capability to support the warfighter while simultaneously promoting stability and security in the region.

“This project has been approved by the NATO investment committee and funded from the NATO security investment program,” said Emanuele Meli, the NATO investment committee chair. “The NATO security investment program is a key pillar of our co-funding architecture and has delivered key infrastructures and strategic capabilities for NATO for over 70 years.”

Establishing long-term storage and maintenance facilities for U.S. military equipment in Poland and in other NATO countries ensures the United States and the alliance can respond quickly and decisively to crises.

The U.S. Army is undergoing the most significant transformation in the past 40 years. This transformation – the bedrock of future readiness – will enable the U.S. Army to support the joint force with a credible land-combat power necessary for deterrence and decisive victory. The unanimous decision to fund this project shows the Alliance is committed to sharing the costs associated with these enhancements.