United We Stand

August 28, 2008

Dear Members and Friends,

MDAA was in Slupsk, Poland this past week on the forefront of the Polish Prime Minister, Mr. Donald Tusk’s first visit to the Slupsk Region in Northern Poland this Friday, since the signing of the Missile Defense agreement with the United States.

Last Friday, MDAA hosted a video conference between the Mayors of Slupsk, Poland and Huntsville, Alabama. Mayor Loretta Spencer of Huntsville and members of her community helped to begin city to city, business to business, citizen to citizen and university to university partnerships with the City of Slupsk, by speaking with Mayor Maciej Kobylinski, the President of the City Council, Mr. Zdzislaw Solowin, and community members.  Both communities were able to formally initiate their partnerships, mutual interests and engage openly with each other on a video conference hosted by the Mayors from their respective town hall offices.

Participating members of the video conference included the President of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Dr. David Williams, the Vice Rector of the Pomeranian Academy in Slupsk, Mr. Anthony Drapella, the President of the City Council of Slupsk, Mr. Zdzislaw Solowin, the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County, Mr. Evans Quinlivan, Mr. Bartosz Gwozdz-Sproketowski, Director of Economic Impact Department of Slupsk, Dr. Ruth Yates, Assistant Superintendent of the Huntsville City Schools and Mr. Vladyslaw Pedziwiatr, Chancellor of Hanzeatic Academy.

This strategic partnership follows the grander international relationship between Poland and the United States that was formalized in an agreement signed on Wednesday August 20th, 2008 which strengthens both countries national security and protection of their sovereign territory.  International partnerships at the local and highest levels mixed with personal relationships build trust and mutual benefits that make life prosperous for the citizens of both countries.

Slupsk and its nearby region will be host to 10 two-stage U.S. ground-based defensive interceptors that was agreed upon between Poland and the United States.  Huntsville, Alabama and its respective region is the most prominent and expansive engineering community for missile defense technology in the United States.

The Prime Minister of Poland, Mr. Donald Tusk, is set to engage the Polish public in the Slupsk Region and its nearby communities tomorrow, to present information on what Poland has agreed to with the United States and how it will affect the community that will be surrounding the U.S. defensive missile site.

The local Slupsk Community lead by Mayor Maciej Kobylinski and Town Mayor Marcil Chimel are awaiting Prime Minster Tusk’s comments and his explanation as they have been seeking dialogue with him since the negotiations began between the two countries. The Polish public in the local area wants and needs validation and information from the Polish Government at the highest levels from this agreement. The Polish public seeks information about the direct and indirect impact that the defensive missile site will cause throughout the region, covering a broad range of areas to include safety, U.S. presence and economic impact is paramount to the Polish public’s support for the system being located there.

The Czech Republic, who recently agreed to host the U.S. European Midcourse Radar (EMR) last month and the United States who both have been forthcoming and open with information to the Czech public about the EMR that will be deployed in the Bryd Region of the Czech Republic.  The Czech Government as well as the United States has had many briefings to the communities throughout their negotiation and after their agreement was signed. The Czech government, in addition, provided federal compensation for local infrastructure projects that would be affected throughout those villages and cities near where the EMR would be located. Most European Countries and the United States do similar types of educational and compensation efforts with their public prior to putting forward a new military installation in a community.

Education to the Polish Public is of equal importance to that of public education on Missile Defense in the United States. Recent polling data shows strong support for the Missile Defense Site in Poland with 63 percent of the Polish public behind it and 72 percent of the American Public supports the European Missile Defense Site.

United We Stand.

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