Europe

Polish, German presidents visit NATO command center

  • Polish President Andrzej Duda, left, and German President Joachim Gauck, 2. from left, review the honor guards during a  visit to the Headquarters of the Multinational Corps Northeast of the NATO, in Szczecin, Poland, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    Polish President Andrzej Duda, left, and German President Joachim Gauck, 2. from left, review the honor guards during a visit to the Headquarters of the Multinational Corps Northeast of the NATO, in Szczecin, Poland, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)  (The Associated Press)

  • German president Joachim Gauck, left, shakes hands with Poland's president  Andrzej Duda, during a meeting in Szczecin, Poland, Monday Nov. 28, 2016.  ( Soeren Stache/Pool Photo via AP)

    German president Joachim Gauck, left, shakes hands with Poland's president Andrzej Duda, during a meeting in Szczecin, Poland, Monday Nov. 28, 2016. ( Soeren Stache/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Polish President Andrzej Duda, second from left, and German President Joachim Gauck, third from left, bow to the honor guards during a visit to  the Headquarters of the Multinational Corps Northeast of the NATO, in Szczecin, Poland, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    Polish President Andrzej Duda, second from left, and German President Joachim Gauck, third from left, bow to the honor guards during a visit to the Headquarters of the Multinational Corps Northeast of the NATO, in Szczecin, Poland, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)  (The Associated Press)

The presidents of Poland and of Germany are paying a visit to NATO's easternmost command center, which is being upgraded for quick reaction in the event of a threat to the alliance's eastern flank.

Andrzej Duda and Joachim Gauck are meeting on Monday with commanders and troops at the headquarters of NATO's Multinational Corps Northeast in Szczecin. Stationed there are troops from the U.S. and 24 other nations, including non-NATO countries Finland and Sweden.

Following Russia's seizure of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014, a NATO summit that year decided to raise the corps' readiness to high and to increase its force as a deterrent on the alliance's eastern flank. The corps will take command of NATO's rapid reaction force or "spearhead" in case of a threat.