Ambassador Mark Brzezinski’s Remarks during Ship Visit to Gdynia/US Coast Guard Awards

French Pier – Port of Gdynia

June 7, 2022

Good afternoon and welcome to the temporary home of the USS Gravely. Before we begin to discuss this warship and its important visit to Port Gdynia, I’d like to recognize some Polish merchant vessels that are also keeping our seas safe.   

We are here in Gdynia in the heart of Poland’s maritime tradition, so I know that all of you are aware of how dangerous it can be on the high seas.    

Today I am exceptionally pleased to recognize on behalf of the United States Coast Guard, ships from three Polish companies who participate in the Coast Guard’s Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue Ship Safety and Rescue program.  Otherwise known as Amver.   

This is such a wonderful, lifesaving program, and we’re going to pass out some fact sheets so you can learn more about what Amver is, but to put it simply, participating vessels share their locations with the Coast Guard so that when a mariner needs help, we can help identify other ships that are nearby and can assist.  

Every year, Amver recognizes vessels that have taken part in the program, and today we have three Polish companies and some captains of vessels here who have participated over the past year.  I’d like to present representatives from each company with an award for their gracious service.   

My colleague from the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw Ryan Bowles will now join me to assist with this short ceremony. Ryan?  

Press Conference Opening Remarks 

Gratulacje! Now to the main reason you are all here today.   

The USS Gravely is the third U.S. Destroyer to dock in Poland in the past three months.  That is significant, we haven’t had this kind of presence in the region for some time.   

The warship provides reassurances on many levels.  First to our Polish friends and neighbors.   

During the many collaborative military engagements with our Polish counterparts, I’ve heard from members of the community that the presence of U.S. troops, of U.S. equipment, and U.S. ships makes people feel at ease.  It shows the people of Poland that we are here, and the United States supports you.

This presence also allows our sailors to understand what makes Poland so special.  

U.S. Navy Sailors will have the opportunity to interact with the people in Gdynia.  They’ll be able to explore Skwer Kościuszki and learn all about Polish culture. 

Engagements such as these strengthen our bonds, it brings our people together.  This projects unity in a time when cooperation with Poland, our allies, and our partners has become our greatest strength in the face of Russian aggression.  

This visit isn’t directly in response to the war in Ukraine, U.S Navy ships routinely operate in the region.  But it does send an unmistakable message to Putin.  

He is betting that Western unity will crack.  We continue to prove through our actions that is not the case.  We will work towards preserving security and stability throughout the region. We are united. We stand together on land and sea.  

This message is further amplified during BALTOPS 22, which began just two days ago.  The premier maritime-focused annual exercise in the Baltic Region brings together 14 NATO nations and two partner nations, including Poland and the United States.   

At this very moment thousands of personnel from like-minded countries around the globe are demonstrating the flexibility of maritime forces. These training exercises increase interoperability, so we can rapidly respond during a crisis.  It is a clear expression of our commitment to promote peace and security in the region.  

As is the visit by the USS Gravely. The presence of this destroyer in the Port of Gdynia strengthens our capability to operate cohesively.  And the United States will continue to seek opportunities to work with Poland to keep our seas safe and secure.  

Now to some of your questions.