US Patriot Missiles Arrive in Poland

The M-901 Launching Station for the Patriot missile system on display during the open house at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

From the AP: Dozens of American soldiers and a battery of Patriot missiles have arrived in Poland, where they will spend the next two years teaching the Polish military to operate the advanced guided missile system at a base just a few miles from the Russian border.

Though Russia had expressed its strong opposition to having a U.S. military installation close to its border, there was no initial reaction from Moscow to the arrival of the missiles – perhaps an indication that it wants to play down the matter after failing to stop the deployment.

Andrew Paul, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw, said the battery arrived on Sunday at a base in Morag, a town in northeastern Poland just 37 just miles (60 kilometers) from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad. …

The U.S military has previously carried out training exercises in Poland, and has also trained the Polish air force to operate F-16 military fighter planes, which Poland bought to modernize its military.

But Paul said that the Patriot garrison involves a longer time commitment than anything before, and marks "the first continuing presence" of American soldiers and equipment in Poland.

The missiles were transported by rail from a U.S. base near Kaiserslautern, Germany, and will rotate in and out of Poland along with 100 to 150 American soldiers for the next two years.  (photo: U.S. Department of Defense)

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