On Friday, 13 the cornerstone of the future interceptor base was laid in Redzikowo (Pomorskie).
It is a third step to build a comprehensive European defense system – after deployment of the early-warning radar system in Turkey and the battleships in Spain, and setting up of the Ballistic Missile Defense in Romania.
Polish President Andrzej Duda, the Minister of National Defense Antoni Macierewicz, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Witold Waszczykowski and the American Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert O. Work, American ambassador to Poland Paul Jones, the commander of the US Navy in Europe Admiral Mark Ferguson, the director of the American Missile Defense Agency, deputy Admiral James Syring and the Deputy Secretary of State Frank Rose were, among others, present at the inaugural celebrations.
According to the Polish Ministry of National Defense it was a vital moment considering peace not only in Poland, but in whole Europe and even worldwide. The importance of solidarity among the NATO-members were underlined by most of the guests. The American party stressed that the Ballistic Missile Defense is a way to defend Europe and United States from any potential air-raid: it is not in any way aimed at Russia, although the Russian head of the Defense Committee of the State Duma Vladimir Komoyedov suggested that the system poses a direct threat to Russia’s security and therefore all the engaged countries are going to be kept under close observation ever since.
The guests met a surprising objection to the project. About 70 local people were protesting against the construction of the American defense system in Redzikowo. They claimed it is an idea that can have fatal (environmental and economic) consequences and that the needs of the local communities have been being significantly neglected since then. People are also afraid of what their lives will look life after the construction is finished and the Polish and American armies start to operate military from there.
The beginning of works is planned for this summer. A base for the commanders and the whole personnel will be prepared to accommodate even 300 people. The total costs of this investment amount to ca. 300 million dollars.