On December 15, without the participation of important personalities and the media, a formal ceremony was held in Redzikowo near Słupsk, announcing the operational readiness of the American base, the heart of which is the Aegis Ashore anti-missile defense system. This marks the end of the long construction stage, which symbolically began on May 13, 2016.
The lack of a momentous ceremony may be due to one fact, which was pointed out by the US Navy press team in response to press questions. Well, with the announcement of operational readiness, key infrastructure elements were disabled in order to carry out the planned renovation and modernization period. It is to be completed in the first half of 2024. At that time, the entire unit will come under the formal command of the North Atlantic Alliance and will join the American forces that are responsible for protecting European allies against the threat of ballistic missiles of potential enemies.
Protection against “rogue states”
The long construction period means that the base’s commissioning takes place in a completely different geopolitical situation. It is the result of the concept of President George W. Bush Junior, who, after the events of September 11, 2001, began an extensive project to secure the United States against an attack by the so-called “rogue states” – this term included, among others, Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Public ideas related to the construction of a multi-layer anti-missile shield aroused the interest of selected countries in Europe, which was related to geography (the inability to build a specialized missile base on the east coast of the United States), and resulted in Poland being among them.
Already in the fall of 2005, the then government of Marek Belka declared preliminary consent to initiate talks on the construction of an American base on Polish territory. The above initiative found fertile ground also after the parliamentary elections, when the government of Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz was initially formed, and later of Jarosław Kaczyński. Finally, at the beginning of 2007, the American side submitted a formal proposal for talks on this topic.