U.S. to open air detachment in Poland: White House

Reuters News
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Posted: May 27, 2011 12:28 PM
U.S. to open air detachment in Poland: White House

WARSAW (Reuters) - President Barack Obama and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk will announce a deal on Saturday to set up a U.S. air detachment to serve warplanes that will rotate through Poland, the White House said on Friday.

Poland, a NATO ally since 1999, has been pressing for a permanent U.S. military presence on its soil as a clear security guarantee, especially in the face of a more assertive Russia.

"It will be a small permanent presence on the ground and then a rotational presence that will be more substantial," Liz Sherwood Randall, a senior White House national security official, told reporters on board Air Force One that brought Obama to Poland on Friday afternoon for a two-day visit.

(Reporting by Steve Holland, writing by Gareth Jones, editing by Michael Roddy)