‘Wewaited on years’: Polish govt greetings United States soldiers

‘Wewaited on years’: Polish govt greetings United States soldiers

U.S. Army vehicles cross the Polish perimeter in Olszyna, Poland, Thursday.( AP Photo/ Czarek Sokolowski)

Polish leaders declared themselves alone no longer at a ceremony Saturday welcoming the arrival of U.S. troops as part of a deployment that has angered Russia.

The presence of U.S. troops on Polish clay marks a historic momentthe first time Western forces are being deployed on a continuous basis to bolster NATOs eastern flank.

“We have waited for you for a very long time, the soliders hear Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz tell at Saturdays event in Zagan amid falling snow. We waited for decades, sometimes feeling we had been left alone, sometimes virtually losing hope, sometimes feeling that we were the only one who protected civilization from aggression that came from the east.

The event also drew hundreds of ordinary Pole.

The American deployment includes an armored brigade of 3,500 American troops from Fort Carson, Colorado. It comes in reactions to Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and its backing of separatist insurgents in Ukraine's east.

Those actions have frightened many in Poland, the Baltic states and other countries in Eastern Europe that were once under Moscow's control.

This is America's most capable fighting force: a combat-ready, highly trained US armoured brigade, with our most advanced equipment and weaponry, U.S. diplomat to Poland Paul James said at the ceremonies, according to an AFP report.

“This force embodies America's iron-clad commitment to honor our NATO treaty obligation to defend our NATO allies.”

The Polish government organized several other events across the country, including in downtown Warsaw, to greeted the Americans.

This is an important day for Poland, for Europe, for our common defense, Prime Minister Beata Szydlo told the U.S. soldiers.

The troops are due to fan out across seven countries from Estonia to Bulgaria for exercises. A headquarters unit will be stationed in Germany. After nine months they will be replaced by another unit.

NATO will also deploy four multinational brigades to its eastern flank subsequently this year, one each to Poland and the three Baltic nations. The U.S. will also lead one of those battalions.

The Kremlin has denounced all these deployments, saying it considers them security threats to its own security and interests.

One of the recently arrived Americans M.P Peter Gomez told AFP he felt very welcome as he posed for selfies with Polish citizens.

I'm surprised actually, he was quoted as saying. People are very excited to see us.

The Associated Press contributed to this report .

Read more: www.foxnews.com

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