WARSAW — Poland will deploy first U.S. Patriot missiles on its soil beginning in early April, a spokesman for the Polish Defense Ministry said.
“A first group of U.S. troops will be also dispatched along with the [Patriot] missiles at the military base in Morag,” Janusz Sejmej said.
Polish President Lech Kaczynski has ratified the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States, laying out the conditions for the deployment of U.S. troops on Polish soil on early Saturday.
Poland said in late January it would deploy a battery of U.S. Patriot missiles to the town of Morag, just 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, rather than outside Warsaw.
Patriot theater air defense systems, designed to counter tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and advanced aircraft, were initially part of U.S.-Polish missile shield deal and Warsaw insisted on their deployment going ahead despite the change in Washington’s plans.