During the NATO Summit in Newport, Wales held in September 2014, leaders of the Alliance gave mandate for the biggest reinforcement of NATO's collective defence in recent years by approving the newly formed Readiness Action Plan (RAP), which provides a comprehensive package of measures to respond to the ever changing security environment on NATO's borders.
As a part of the measures outlined in the RAP, NATO decided to set up six small headquarters, called NATO Force Integration Units (NFIUs) based in Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
On 20 April 2016, members of the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) were invited to attend the Opening Ceremony of the NATO Force Integration Unit in Bydgoszcz, Poland, which was formally opened by Antoni Macierewicz, the Polish Minister of Defence.
Enhancing Alliance responsiveness
Mr Macierewicz's opening speech was broadcast on national television within Poland and his message was clear: "Today we can say that Poland is completely ready to accept allied troops and that NATO is fully prepared to present at the Eastern Flank."
The NCI Agency has been responsible for establishing communication and information systems (CIS) for NFIUs under the extremely tight timelines dictated by the Summit declaration in Wales and the Defence Ministers' political commitment in February 2015. NFIU (POL) Commander, Colonel Artur Bogowicz congratulated the work effort by the NCI Agency, calling it "a remarkable and significant success." Mr Macierewicz's reaction on his tour of the facility was also noteworthy: "We are amazed that the NCI Agency has been able to deliver the operational CIS for the NFIU in such a short timeframe."
The NATO Force Integration Unit Poland is part of the NATO Force Structure designed to facilitate the rapid deployment of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) and NATO Response Force elements (NRF), in order to enhance Alliance responsiveness.