NATO declares US ballistic missile defense base in Poland ready for mission | The mighty 790 KFGO

By Sabine Siebold

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A new U.S. air defense base in northern Poland designed to detect and intercept ballistic missile attacks as part of a broader NATO missile shield is ready for the mission, the Western military alliance said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a NATO summit in Washington, alliance leader Jens Stoltenberg said the base’s readiness was an important step for transatlantic security in the face of the growing threat from ballistic missiles.

“As a defensive alliance, we cannot ignore that threat. Missile defense is an essential element of NATO’s core task, collective defense,” he added, noting that ballistic missiles have been used extensively in conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East.

The system, called Aegis Ashore, is stationed in the northern Polish town of Redzikowo and is capable of intercepting short- to medium-range ballistic missiles, according to NATO.

The Allied missile shield is intended to protect European citizens, territory and troops from ballistic missile attacks.

Other key elements of the shield include a second Aegis Ashore location in Romania, along with U.S. Navy destroyers stationed in the Spanish port of Rota and an early warning radar in the Turkish city of Kurecik.

According to NATO, Aegis Ashore is purely defensive. About 200 troops are stationed at the two interceptor sites in Poland and Romania, with the base in the Romanian city of Deveselu operational since 2016.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by David Gregorio)

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