NATO Secretary General thanks Allied pilots, crews in visit to Polish airbase
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked air force personnel from Poland and many other Allied countries on Monday (06 October 2014) for their service and for protecting the airspace over the Eastern part of the Alliance during a visit to the Łask airbase in central Poland. “You are doing an important job,” the Secretary General said. He stressed that "you come from many countries across the Alliance but you send one clear message: NATO is here. NATO is here to protect you. NATO is here to protect all Allies.”
At the airbase, Mr. Stoltenberg met pilots and air crews from across the Alliance. He had the opportunity to see several fighter jets used in NATO’s Baltic air-policing mission as well as tour a NATO E-3A 'Sentry' Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) aircraft. The Secretary General also received briefings from military commanders on NATO’s air-policing and AWACS missions. Earlier on Monday, Mr Stoltenberg was in Warsaw for talks with Polish President Bronisław Komorowski, Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz and other senior Polish government officials.
Since the start of the Ukraine crisis NATO has significantly strengthened the Alliance’s collective defence on its eastern borders. At the Wales Summit, Allies decided to maintain a continuous air, land, and sea presence and military activity in the eastern part of the Alliance on a rotational basis. This includes increased NATO air patrols over the Baltics, AWACS flights over Poland and Romania, and the rotation of forces throughout the region for exercises.