President Trump said Wednesday he is sending 1,000 additional troops to Poland in an effort to strengthen the U.S.’s alliance with the Eastern European country.
Trump made the announcement during a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda, saying Warsaw will pay for additional infrastructure “to support [the] military presence of about 1,000 American troops.”
“The Polish government will build these projects at no cost to the United States,” Trump said. “We thank President Duda and the people of Poland for their partnership in advancing our common security.”
Trump mistakenly said earlier Wednesday during a meeting with Duda in the Oval Office that he would be sending close to 2,000 American troops to Poland from Germany and other European countries. The U.S. currently has around 4,000 military service members in Poland.
The president also said Poland would purchase more than 30 F-35 stealth fighter jets from the U.S., marking the deal with a flyover of one of the jets over the White House as Trump, Duda and their wives looked on.
“Moments ago, we witnessed that impressive flyover of this cutting-edge F-35 as it flew over the White House and actually came to a — pretty close to a halt over the White House,” Trump said at the press conference. “And it’s one of the few in the world that can do that. Considered to be the greatest fighter jet in the world.”
U.S. officials had telegraphed the troop deployment earlier this week. Polish leaders have urged the Trump administration for months to send more military forces in order to deter Russia, which has ramped up military exercises near their shared border. The Polish government even floated the idea of building a Fort Trump in order to appeal to the former real estate mogul.
“Well, that’s up to them. I have nothing to do with naming it,” Trump said when asked about the name of the facility where U.S. troops will be stationed. “‘Fort Trump.’ That’s all I need. ‘Fort Trump,’ and you people would have a field day with that, right?”