The U.S. Army has activated its Long Term Equipment Storage and Maintenance Complex (LTESM-C) at the 33rd Air Base in Powidz, Poland. This is a significant milestone in the U.S.-Poland strategic partnership and the NATO deterrence posture in Eastern Europe.
The LTESM-C is a state-of-the-art facility that can store and maintain up to 5,000 pieces of military equipment, including armoured vehicles, artillery systems, engineering equipment, and logistics support vehicles. The complex covers an area of 60 hectares and includes 15 warehouses, 12 maintenance bays, a railhead, and a wash rack.
The LTESM-C enables the U.S. Army to rapidly deploy and sustain an armoured brigade combat team (ABCT) in Poland or elsewhere in the region, in support of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP) initiative. The EFP aims to strengthen NATO’s collective defence and deterrence against potential aggression from Russia, which has increased its military activity and posture along its western border.
The LTESM-C is part of the European Activity Set (EAS), which is a pool of prepositioned equipment that can be used by rotational forces or contingency operations in Europe. The EAS consists of four sets of equipment, each capable of supporting an ABCT. The first set is located at Coleman Worksite in Mannheim, Germany; the second set is at Eygelshoven Army Prepositioned Stock Site in the Netherlands; the third set is at Zutendaal Army Prepositioned Stock Site in Belgium; and the fourth set is at the LTESM-C in Powidz, Poland.
The LTESM-C was built by a joint venture of two Polish companies, Budimex and Mostostal Warszawa, under a contract awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District in February 2019. The contract value was $182 million and the construction period was 24 months. The project involved close coordination and cooperation between the U.S. and Polish governments, military authorities, contractors, and local communities.
The LTESM-C was officially inaugurated on April 5, 2023, in a ceremony attended by Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, U.S. Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski, U.S. Army Europe and Africa Commander Gen. Christopher Cavoli, and other senior officials from both countries.
Błaszczak said that the LTESM-C “will strengthen the security of Poland and the whole eastern flank of NATO.” He added that “this base is also a way to deter an aggressor and an expression of NATO solidarity.”
Brzezinski said that the LTESM-C “is a testament to our shared commitment to defend our common values and interests.” He also praised Poland for its contributions to NATO’s defence spending and burden-sharing goals.
Cavoli said that the LTESM-C “is a key enabler for our ability to rapidly respond to any crisis or contingency in this theatre.” He also thanked Poland for its hospitality and support for the U.S. forces stationed or rotating in the country.
The LTESM-C is one of several projects that demonstrate the growing U.S.-Poland defence cooperation and interoperability. Other projects include the establishment of a U.S. Division Headquarters Forward in Poznań, the expansion of air defence capabilities at Redzikowo Air Base, the modernization of Polish F-16 fighter jets with U.S. technology, and the acquisition of U.S.-made Patriot missile systems and HIMARS rocket launchers by Poland.
The U.S.-Poland defence relationship is based on a mutual commitment to NATO’s collective defence and a shared vision for regional security and stability. The U.S. and Poland have also been close allies in various missions around the world, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Kosovo, and Mali.
The activation of the LTESM-C is a concrete example of how the U.S. Army is adapting to the changing security environment in Europe and enhancing its readiness and responsiveness to support its allies and partners. The LTESM-C will serve as a strategic asset for NATO’s deterrence posture and a symbol of U.S.-Poland friendship and solidarity.