More than $7 billion will be spent by the Polish government for the creation of a new mechanized infantry division near the country’s eastern border, local media said on Thursday.
The 18th Mechanized Division will reach full fighting status in 2026 and the total cost of its training is expected to reach 27 billion zlotys, about $7.13 billion over 10 years. The information was disclosed by the Defense Website24 quoting the Polish Ministry of Defense.
The command of the new division would be located in the city of Siedlce, about 88.55 km east of the capital Warsaw.
Poland’s Deputy Defense Minister Wojciech Skurkiewicz said during a recent meeting of the Defense Committee of the Polish parliament that the new division would include command, control battalion, two mechanized brigades and a armored brigade, as well as a reconnaissance battalion and air defense and logistics regiments.
He also stressed that the creation of a new division would be motivated by the need to strengthen the so-called “eastern flank” and “ensure security in the area of historically formed directional operations.”
According to the Polish Ministry of Defense, the division headquarters will be formed by the end of this year. A new mechanized brigade and a command regiment will be formed by 2022, and the remaining units will come until 2026.
In times of peace, the division will have 7,800 troops, including 750 officers, 2,160 non-commissioned officers and 4,869 deputies.
The commander of the new division, General Jaroslaw Gromadzinski, said that half of the headquarters had already been formed and that by the end of this year the process should reach 80% of its formation.
This comes as in September, US President Donald Trump told reporters that the United States was considering establishing a permanent military base in Poland. Trump said that Warsaw agreed to pay more than $2 billion for the cost of the base, which the Polish president Andrzej Duda suggested calling Fort Trump.
Russia has already stated on more than one occasion that such a movement, if confirmed, will create new hostility in a region close to the border.