U.S., Poland look at widening activities at Polish air base

WARSAW/WASHINGTON Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:58am EDT

Polish Air Force F-16 fighter jets are seen at an airbase in Lask near Lodz, central Poland, June 28, 2013. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

Polish Air Force F-16 fighter jets are seen at an airbase in Lask near Lodz, central Poland, June 28, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Kacper Pempel

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WARSAW/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and Poland are looking at the possibility of including other NATO member states from eastern Europe in joint aviation activities at a Polish air base, a U.S. military official said on Friday.

The official was commenting on a report by Poland's ZET radio station, which had quoted the U.S. ambassador to Poland as saying the U.S. military was preparing joint exercises with Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and the Baltics, at Poland's Lask air base.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the radio station had mischaracterized the ambassador's remarks.

"To summarize, he stated that the Poles and the U.S. are talking about the possibility of expanding aviation activities at Lask to potentially include other NATO partners, and then he mentioned those nations," said the official.

The Lask air base is located in central Poland. The U.S. military has a small permanent presence there and it was used this month as the base for U.S.-Polish war games.

(Reporting by Anna Wlodarczak-Semczuk and Phillip Stewart; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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