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Poland confirms U.S. sending F-16 jets for training drill

Source: Reuters - Thu, 6 Mar 2014 17:37 GMT
Author: Reuters
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WARSAW, March 6 (Reuters) - The U.S. military will send 12 F-16 fighter jets and 300 service personnel to Poland next week for a training exercise whose scope was expanded in response to the crisis in neighbouring Ukraine, Poland's defence minister said on Thursday.

Tomasz Siemoniak said the training exercise, centred on the Lask air force base in central Poland, was originally to have been smaller and involved only transport aircraft. He said Poland requested it be beefed up after Russia's intervention in Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula.

Standing at a news briefing alongside the minister, U.S. ambassador to Poland Stephen Mull said: "When we face such a dramatic challenge for our security, we need to reassure our allies that our security guarantees are valid."

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