The eastern-most Army base in Europe was renamed Camp Kościuszko on Saturday to honor a war hero to both Polish and U.S. militaries, according to a statement from V Corps, which uses Camp Kościuszko as its headquarters.
Previously known as Forward Operating Site Poznan, the base was renamed after Thaddeus Kościuszko, a Polish soldier who served the U.S. side during the American Revolutionary War and also fought against the Russian Empire’s domination of his native Poland.
Camp Kościuszko houses U.S. soldiers manning V Corps’ forward headquarters. At a NATO summit in Madrid this summer, President Joe Biden announced the U.S. would make the V Corps headquarters in Poland permanent, in addition to moving two F-35 squadrons to the U.K.
Lt. Gen. John S. Kolasheski, commander of V Corps, said the base renaming shows the U.S. commitment to the security of its allies — and history of cooperation.
“Victory Corps is grateful to our Polish Allies for recognizing a Polish and American hero for this honor,” Kolasheski said in a statement. “Brig. Gen. Kościuszko was a master of building military defenses... We believe Camp Kościuszko is a fitting name for this installation as it demonstrates our deep historical ties and our commitment to collective defense.”
Kościuszko left Poland in 1776 and found employment aiding George Washington’s Continental Army.
During his time in the Army, he made a name for himself as a designer of fortresses and blockades, enough so that he was given the rank of colonel by Congress and later promoted to brigadier general. Kościuszko’s use of topography and structures contributed to the Army’s victory at Saratoga, according to the National Park Service.
After his victories in the Continental Army, Kościuszko returned to Poland in 1784 in the midst of great political changes Europe. When Russia invaded Poland, Kościuszko joined in the defense, though Poland eventually surrendered.
According to the National Park Service, Kościuszko would go on a year later to start a rebellion again, but an unexpected alliance between Russia and Prussia left little room for victory. He would never live to see a free and democratic Poland.
Zamone “Z” Perez is a rapid response reporter and podcast producer at Defense News and Military Times. He previously worked at Foreign Policy and Ufahamu Africa. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he researched international ethics and atrocity prevention in his thesis. He can be found on Twitter @zamoneperez.