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Powidz - A New US Army Base. Polish-German Consortium to Work on the Largest NATO Investment Ever

Image Credit: US Army
Image Credit: US Army

Permanent Representation of Poland to NATO announced that a Polish-German consortium won a tender concerning the construction works of a Long Term Equipment Storage Maintenance Complex (LTESM-C) facility at the Powidz airbase in Poland.

The contract concerning this investment has a value of EUR 166 million (183 million US dollars). It is the largest NATO infrastructural undertaking since the end of the Cold War The aforesaid amount is lower than the NATO’s top estimate. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization did account for a sum ranging from 100 to 250 million dollars.

As a result a weapons storage facility is to be established. It is to include:

  • A two-storey concrete workshop, with area of 8.600 sq. m, with 20 repair stations and two 30-tonne overhead cranes;
  • 5 storage facilities with humidity control, with total area of 60 thousand sq. m;
  • 2 garages with total area of 1.650 sq. m;
  • Facility with a vehicle wash platform and a platform for brake testing, area of 1.350 sq. m;
  • Administrative facility;
  • 5.750 square meters operational warehouse;
  • Vehicle Assembly Point Pavement, 22.550 square meters;
  • Safety and information systems - CCTV, audio/video systems, operator’s console;
  • Oil, fuels and lubricants and dangerous goods storage facility;
  • Self-propelled crane.

The bids could have been placed until June 24th 2019 while the information on finalization of the proceedings was publicized on 15th November. Companies from 29 NATO member states exclusively were authorized to place their offers. Deputy Minister of Defence, Tomasz Szatkowski informed, via social media, that the above is the largest infrastructural investment NATO has made since the Cold War. The storage facility in Powidz is being erected with the use of NATO funds (NSIP initiative). It is going to be used for the purpose of storing the equipment owned by the US Armed Forces for the purpose of making it possible to establish a quick reaction capability in the region.

US Armed Forces are planning to deploy some of the armoured division equipment to Powidz. The equipment in question is also stored in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Army Prepositioned Stock is a system of strategically positioned storage facilities located in regions where combat activities may be potentially taking place. Thanks to the above it is only required, should a threat emerge, to deploy soldiers, instead of transporting the heavy assets. This decisively shortens the reaction time. Powidz is going to be a place where equipment for a single US Army armoured brigade is going to be stationed, with around 85 Abrams main battle tanks, 130 M2/M3 Bradley IFV/reconnaissance vehicles and an artillery squadron with around 18 M109A6/17 Paladin sphs. Other equipment, including equipment for support units, is also going to be stored there.

Decision to establish the APS capabilities in Europe was made in 2016 and the equipment started to be stored in the region that year. Earlier on it had been assumed that scattered and limited European Activity Set would be used for deployment purposes. The main objective adopted here was to organize exercises.

At the moment it is assumed that equipment for a full division is to be relocated to Europe until 2021, including at least two armoured brigades, artillery brigade (HIMARS/MLRS launchers have already begun their deployment to Germany). The deployment also included broadly understood support, command and logistical elements.