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CNREURAFSWA Establishes Facility in Redzikowo, Poland

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REDZIKOWO, Poland (NNS) -- Commander, Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia (EURAFSWA) officially established Naval Support Facility (NSF) Redzikowo, Nov. 30, during a base establishment and change of command ceremony in Poland.

During the same ceremony, the Polish Force Protection Battalion received their battle flag, officially establishing the host-nation unit which will cooperatively provide security to the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System (AAMDS) Poland.

"The establishment of Naval Support Facility Redzikowo marks the next critical step in this U.S. presidentially-mandated commitment to adapt our capabilities to the threat environment, and reassure our allies and partners that the United States stands ready to fulfill its responsibilities for mutual defense," said Rear Adm. Rick Williamson, commander, Navy Region EURAFSWA.

The ceremony marked the commencement of operations at the installation; however, administratively, NSF Redzikowo became a command Oct. 1. Since that time, Capt. Christopher Landis has commanded the unit and oversaw construction of the facilities, manning requirements, and bilateral cooperation with the Polish Security Forces and the local community. He was the Navy Installations Command lead officer for the facility for approximately 16 months prior to taking command.

"This is a great day for me, as I am very proud of what my team and I have accomplished," said Landis during his speech at the ceremony. "To our Polish hosts, thank you for truly making us part of your family here in Redzikowo and the Gmina Slupsk. We are honored to live among you and cherish the friendships and relationships we have built during our short time here."

Landis also thanked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency for their assistance and cooperation in welcoming him, and for their coordination in the establishment of the installation. He also thanked his family for their continued support during his time overseeing the initial phases of the base establishment. Landis turned over his duties as commanding officer to Capt. Ricky Gilbert.

Gilbert is a career limited duty security officer and NSF Redzikowo will be his first command. In fact, Gilbert is the first security limited duty officer to command an installation.

"It is a great privilege and honor to relieve Captain Chris Landis," said Gilbert. "Over the last year he has demonstrated exceptional skill and judgement and has given me a solid foundation."

He added he looks forward to working with his Polish counterparts and the entire community.

Following the change of command ceremony, the Polish Force Protection Battalion received their official guidon, which is the official symbol of the unit. Col. Witold Bartoszek, commander, Polish Force Protection Battalion of Redzikowo, stated this historic ceremony of the combined establishment symbolizes the great cooperation which exists between the United States and Poland.

NSF Redizkowo will provide key support to the AAMDS, including the lines of operations such as security, safety, housing, and what is called the core that keep the installations running, such as utilities. The installation and its facilities remain under construction, as does the AAMDS Poland.

As a persistent shore presence for the U.S. Navy in Europe, NSF Redzikowo will cooperate with the host nation and Polish forces to strengthen relationships in order to increase peace and security throughout the region. Once complete, the AAMDS Poland will host the upgraded SM-3 Block IIA missiles. The delivery of this improved weapons system, and the increased ballistic missile defense (BMD) infrastructure under EPAA, will improve the defensive coverage against medium- and intermediate-range threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area.

The European Phased Adaptive Approach is the United States' multi-phase effort to field capabilities offered as the U.S. voluntary contribution to the NATO BMD mission to counter threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area. This multi-year, multi-phase effort includes Aegis BMD-capable ships based in Rota, Spain; AAMD sites in Redzikowo, Poland, and Deveselu, Romania; a forward-deployed radar in Turkey, and a command and control network located at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

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