Tag Archives: Secretary Gates

Official Statements on Smolensk Tragedy

Here are a few more excerpts from official statements issued by the Department of Defense in the wake of the deaths of Polish officials near Katyn earlier this year. One of Admiral Mullen’s Senior Advisors wrote this about General Gagor:

“In many ways, he was the model new, post Cold War Polish officer–steeped in peace-keeping, COIN and alliance operations in the Balkans, Iraq and AFG. He was a fluent English speaker, insisted his children learn English from an early age. NATO was his home.

Frank was the first ever foreign officer to graduate with distinction from the National War College–a huge achievement in itself and a shining testimony to his heartfelt desire to show to all that Polish officers are at least as good as NATO’s; they not only can lead – they deserve to lead! At NWC, we called them “Frank and Lucky, the all-American couple.
Most of all, he wanted Poland to contribute — to be seen as the “go to” ally — above and beyond the call of duty. No better, more reliable friend of the U.S. His legacy will live: a new, proud, respected Polish military. And, as CHOD he staked all on the future: allocating a huge portion of their budget to buy brand spanking new F16s. You should’ve seen the Chief Chaplain and a Bishop from Texas throw holly water on each missile at the transfer ceremony at Ft Worth, TX.”

U.S. Defense Secretary Gates offered the following:

“Poland is one of America’s closest allies, and our nations are united by a shared heritage and a shared commitment to defend the values of freedom and democracy. In this accident, Poland has lost some of its most brilliant and dedicated patriots and public servants — citizens who have transformed their country into a model of peace and prosperity at the center of the Euro-Atlantic community.
Many were spearheading the transformation of the Polish Armed Forces and attended U.S. military schooling. All served with great distinction in the proud military tradition of the Republic of Poland. The United States military mourns the loss of so many cherished Brothers in Arms.”