Poland: US to Hasten Troop Deploymemt

WARSAW, Poland (AP) -- Poland's defense minister said Wednesday that he was happy that the United States has decided to accelerate the deployment of deterrence troops to Poland.

Minister Antoni Macierewicz spoke following talks with the commander of U.S. land troops in Europe, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges in Zagan, in western Poland, where some of the troops will be deployed.

Hodges said the troops will arrive in the German port of Bremenhaven on Jan. 6 and will be immediately deployed to Poland and the Baltic states. Their transfer will be timed and treated as a test of their mobility speed, he said.

Hodges said the armored brigade has already started moving out of its base in Fort Carson, Colorado.

Poland and the Baltics have been uneasy about increased Russian military operations in the region and have requested U.S. and NATO troops presence on their territory as a deterrent. The U.S. troops were expected at a mid- or late-January date.

"I am very happy that a decision has been taken by the U.S. side for an earlier deployment," Macierewicz said.

(KA)