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NATO foots bill for massive US combat depot in Poland

COLOGNE, Germany – NATO officials are putting together the largest alliance construction project in recent memory to realize a storage site for American combat vehicles in Poland.

The depot is meant to stash U.S. warfighting equipment in the eastern European nation in case a confrontation with nearby Russia becomes a possibility. Pentagon officials consider the future facility in Powidz, western-central Poland, part of a global network of hardware stashes meant to serve as faraway armories for U.S. soldiers when there is fighting to be done.

Construction of the site is slated to begin this summer, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told the Wall Street Journal in an interview earlier this month. The decision to build the depot was made by the alliance some years ago, predating Poland’s formal “Fort Trump” proposal, an attempt to flatter U.S. President Donald Trump into deploying a permanent American troop presence in the former Soviet Bloc country.

Former U.S. Army Europe head Ben Hodges is on record in 2017 envisaging the Powidz air base as a hub for American forces on NATO's eastern front. The Army Corps of Engineers published an industry solicitation in 2018 requesting tree-cutting services for 38 hectares, or 71 football fields, around the base.

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