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The Polish Military, up and coming rising star

Military Polish Military 2003 Tennyson's Militaries

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#1 tennyson

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Posted 22 May 2003 - 09:55 AM

The Polish military is a force undergoing an extensive transition, having joined NATO in 1999 and having to dvest itself of its immense store of obselete or obselesent(and nonNATO compatible) Soviet era hardware. The Polish military is in the middle of a six-year US $26.5 billion defence modernization program that will bring its forces more into balance with the militaries of its NATO allies and replace larger portions of its Soviet era equipment.
While under the effective Soviet control as part of the Warsaw Pact infrastructure the Polish military had little role beyond that of a strategic reserve for the massive Soviet Groups of Forces in Estern Europe. The fall of the Soviet Union brought significant changes including NATO membership. So far Polish forces have served with operation Allied Force and as part of the NATO stabilization force in Kosovo and Polish forces served as part of the recent Coalition that toppled Saddam Hussien in Iraq.  

The Polska Wojska Lotnicze i Obrony Powietrznej (Polish Air Force & Air Defence Force) was equipped with this as of late 2002,

28 MiG-29A fighters and 4Mig-29UB Fulcum A trainers(10 are NATO compatible) along with another 19Mig-29As and another 4 Mig-29UBs transfered from Germany in mid 2003 that are fully NATO compatible.  
100+ MiG-21PFM/M/MF Fishbed fighter-bombers( most are in storage)
22 MiG-21bis Fishbed fighters and 25 Mig-21UM/US training aircraft
74Su-22M-4 fighter-bombers and 15 Su-22UM-3K Fitter trainers(outfitted with Western avionics)
17 PZL I-22 Iryda  Training/Attack aicraft still awaiting delivery
152 WSK TS-11 Iskra  Training/Attack aircraft
34 PZL-130 Turbo-Orlik training aircraft
47WSK SW-3 training helicopters on order
8 CN.295 transport aircraft on order
10 An-26 Curl light transports
2 An-28TD Clod transports
10 PZL M-28 Bryza transports on order for the Air Force Academy
24 +An-2 Colt biplane transports
2 Tupolev Tu-154M  VIP Transports
10 Yak-40 Codling  VIP Transports
5 Mil Mi-8 Hip transport helicopters
79Mi-2 Hoplite  Anti-Tank/AOP/Scout helicopters
9 PZL W-3 Sokol liaison aircraft
11PZL W-3W Huzar liaison aircraft
1Bell 412HP transport helicopter
The Air force is also responsible for the defence of Polish air space and imanned air defence units with SA-5 long range SAMs, SA-2 medium-range SAMs, and short-range SA-3 and SA-7 SAMs as well as 37mm and 57mm anmtiaircraft guns.

The Polish Air Force is working towards a fighter force of about 100 Western style fighter aircraft, to be procured in the sometime before 2010, and the current inventory of Su-22 fighter-bombers. The reorganization of the airforce that began in the early 1990s is far-reaching but it will take many years before Poland reaches the status of an equal NATO member. In the modernization process the national aerospace industry will provide a substantial portion of the helicopter fleet and will liscence build new Western helicopter and fighter aircraft. The new fighter is a national priority and the budget for this project is from a special fund setup exclusively for this purpose and not from the Ministry of Defence.
"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5


#2 tennyson

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Posted 22 May 2003 - 11:53 AM

The Polish Navy (Polska Marynarka Wojenna) had a strength of (2000) 17,080 personnel total made up of 2643 officers, 1920 warrant officers, 1880 noncommissioned officers, 1300 enlisted, 200 contract enlisted and 9180 conscripts plus 250 naval cadets.
While most of of its weapons and sensor systems are of Soviet origin, Poland manufactures some under license and has introduced its own navigational radars as a result of its extensive merchant ship and fishing boat construction industry.
The Polish navy is equipped with
1 Kilo class diesel electric attack submarine(updated for NATO interoperability)
1Oliver Hazard Perry class guided missile frigate given as a gift from the US and 2 Perry class friagtes leased from the US
6 MEKO series frigates are on order
I Kaszub class corvette(updated for NATO interoperability)
4 Ex-Soviet Tarantul I class guided missile patrol craft
3Ex-Est German Sassnitz class patrol craft(I unit has been updated for NATOinteroperability)
8 modified Obluze and 11 Pilicia class patrol craft
4 Krogulec class minesweepers/hunters( modified for NATO interoperability)
17 Notec class coastal minehunters/minesweepers( 1 modified for NATO interoperablity)
2 Leniwka class minesweeping boats
5 Lublin class medium landing ships/minelayers
3 Deba class utility landing craft
1 Polnocny-B class ammunition transport
1 Polnocny-C class command ship
1ZP-1200 class small replenishment oiler(updated for NATO interoperability)
3 Moskit class coastal oilers
2 Piast class salvage ships( 1 modified for NATO interoperability)
2 Wodnick class training ships(Wodnick operated as an unarmed hospital ship in support of UN Coalition operations from December 1990 to May 1991 in the Middle East, reconverting to a training ship upon her return, She has been upadted for NATO interoperability)


The Polish navy also operates a relatively large force of harbor patrol ships, tugs, and various other small auxiliary ships. Polish naval aviation also operates
14 MiG-21bis fighter-bombers
4  MiG-21UM  trainers
12  WSK TS-11R/bis Iskra reconnaissance and training aircraft
5  An-28 Cash  for  Transport/SAR roles  
8 PZL M-28 Bryza  transports for patrol and search and rescue
4  An-2 Colts for  Transport/SAR  
8  Mi-14PL/PS Haze helicopters  for  ASW/SAR
4  Kaman S-2G Seasprite  ASW helicopters for the Perry's  
7  Mi-8T/Mi-17 Hip  transport helicopters
2  Mi-2RM/Mi-2D Hoplite  transport helicopters
8  PZL W-3/RM/ARM  for transport and search and rescue

The navy also operates artillery and truck mounted SS-C-3 antiship miisiles in defence of the major ports and naval facilities.

Edited by tennyson, 22 May 2003 - 12:00 PM.

"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5


#3 tennyson

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Posted 24 May 2003 - 06:24 PM

The core of the operational forcesof the Polish Army  is composed of:
- 2 mechanised corps with
- 3 mechanised divisions;
- an armoured cavalry division;
- 8 mechanised brigades;
- 6 armoured brigades;
- 2 artillery brigades;
- 2 engineer brigades;
- airborne brigade;
- air cavalry brigade;
- coastal defence brigade;
- Podhalan Brigade;
- logistic brigade;
- 26 regiments of various branches.
The territorial defence forces are a part of the land forces designed for tactical operations in their fixed areas of responsibility. The forces comprise 7 brigades of territorial defence including the mountain infantry brigade.
The land forces consist of the following branches:
- mechanised and armoured forces;
- air-mobile forces;
- missile and artillery forces;
- air-defence forces;
- engineer forces;
- chemical forces;
- signal and IT forces.
Besides, the land forces include reconnaissance, electronic warfare, psychological operations, special operations and logistic units and sub-units.
Military personnel of the land forces (1.01.2003) numbers 88 877 soldiers including:
1) professional soldiers - 39 964 comprising:
a/ soldiers of permanent service - 32 358 including:
- generals - 28
- senior officers - 5 219
- junior officers - 8 806
- warrant officers - 12 283
- professional non-commissioned officers - 6022
b/ soldiers of contract service - 7606 including:
- senior officers - 1
- junior officers - 184
- warrant officers - 779
- non-commissioned officers - 66 642
2) soldiers of overtime military service - 5440
3) soldiers of candidate service - 786
4) soldiers of conscript military service - 39 070
5) cadets of Reserve Cadets' School - 157.

The basic armament (29.01.2003):
41 Leopard 2 main battle tanks
644 T-72M main battle tanks
233 PT-91 main battle tanks

infantry fighting vehicles - 1321 of various ex-Soviet types such as the BMP series
armoured reconnaissance vehicle - 38
- artillery (120 mm and more)
cannons/howitzers - 652(primarily ex-Soviet types including 2S1 122mm sp howitzers, 2S7 sp howitzers and Czech DANA 152mm sp wheeled howitzers)
mortars - 184
multiple missile launchers - 256( including the self-propelled RM70 122mm multiple rocket launch system and the BM-21system)
engineer bridges
BLG-67M2 - 126
- strike and general purpose helicopters
W-3 W Sokó? - 34
Mi-2 URP - 27
Mi-24 - 43
- ground attack helicopters
Mi-8 - 18
M-17 - 6
- non-armed transport helicopters
Mi-2 - 29
Mi-8 - 11
W-3 Sokó? - 2.
I could only find a decent table of organization on the official Polish Army website so I chose to forgo my usual method since they already had a handy table of organization.
"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5


#4 tennyson

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Posted 24 May 2003 - 06:27 PM

I also discovered that the Polish military has been more involved internationally then I thought at thier department of defence website at http://www.wp.mil.pl, here is the listing of operations they have been involved in,

- UNEF II (Forces of the United Nations) on the Sinai Peninsula, where Poland sent its first military contingent of from 822 to 1026 soldiers in strength, from November1973 to January 1980. These divisions proved to be of great assistance. The Polish hospital and clinics were responsible for medical care, the logistical unit purified and supplied drinking water to all of the contingents, and engineering sub-detachments were responsible for mine clearance.

- UNDOF (Forces of the United Nations for the Task of Distancing of the Opposing Forces), the contingent was sent to the Golan Heights on its second mission, in which took part the Polish logistical units, from June 1974 to December 1993. The Polish Logistical Contingent (POLLOG) of 154 soldiers in strength was responsible for the transportation of water, food and other provisions, POLLOG also possessed a sanitary and epidemiological laboratory and an engineering platoon, which participated in the assessment and clearance of minefields. In connection with the reconstruction of UNDOF in December 1993, the logistic unit was replaced by the operational battalion.

- UNTAG (the Group for the Introduction of United Nations Aid) in Namibia, to where was sent a supply unit to the strength of 393 soldiers, from March 1989 to May 1990. This unit serviced the central storehouses and complexes concerned with provisioning the northern portions of the area of the mission. In a similar way to the situation with UNDOF, the Polish forces co-operated with the Canadian divisions.

- UNTAC (the Forces of the United Nations Temporarily Acting as the Government in Cambodia), to which Poland sent a contingent of most of a battalion comprised of an engineering and provisions unit to the strength of 709 soldiers, from May 1992 to November 1993. Among the duties of our detachment were the supply of water, food and fuel for operational units as well as servicing the main depot. Polish engineers also repaired roads and bridges.

The new phase of Polish participation in international peace missions commenced with the participation of our divisions in the Defensive Forces of the United Nations (UNPROFOR) from April '1992 to May 1995. Poland was for the first time invited to send an operational battalion within the framework of the peace missions of the United Nations. A first battalion numbering 900 soldiers was sent to Kraina. Their main duties were: the monitoring and patrolling of areas protected by the United Nations, the defense of important installations, the escorting of humanitarian convoys, the control of the withdrawal of armed units to the areas designated for them and supervision of the operations of the local police. The Polish division remained within UNPROFOR and UNCRO for a period of three years, applying itself to the day-to-day needs of the peacekeeping forces. When the duties carried out by NATO were taken over by the Forces for the Implementation of Peace (IFOR), the Polish operational battalion was incorporated into the Nordic-Polish Brigade, acting within the framework managed by the United States' Multi-National Northern Division MND(N)

In 1999 the Polish Military Unit within the NATO forces in Albania (AFOR) took part in the operation "Allied Harbour". The contingent was made up of 140 soldiers, who were excellently trained and prepared for action in mountainous terrain, from the 21 Podhale Rifle Brigade from Rzeszów as well as personnel in the Command Forces. The task of the contingent was to secure mission buildings, humanitarian convoys and refugee convoys, secure withdrawal and convoying of allied forces as well as patrol Albanian and Kosovo border. The mission finished its activity in October 1999.In 1988 the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces (UNPF) were awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize for their enormous achievements in the propagation of peace throughout the world. Amongst the delegates of the UNPF at the award ceremony were to be found representatives of the Polish Army.

PRESENT TIME

At present (December 2000) almost 2000 Polish soldiers and members of civilian personnel serve in 15 peace missions around the world. Polish military units execute tasks in six peace missions (United Nations and NATO), while Polish experts and military observers serve in 9 peace missions (United Nations and European Safety and Co-operation Organization) in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Polish military contingents in peace missions in 2000:

- military contingent in United Nations' UNDOF forces, on Golan Heights, consisting of operational battalion and personnel in Headquarters, which is 359 soldiers and military employees;

- contingent in UNIFIL forces in Lebanon, consisting of logistic battalion, engineering company, renovation sub-units and military field hospital, which is 634 soldiers and civilian personnel;

- military contingent in NATO's SFOR forces in Bosnia and Hercegovina, consisting of two companies, belonging to Nordic-Polish Combat Group and personnel on various levels of combat group, which is 289 persons;

- Polish Military Unit in NATO forces in Kosovo (KFOR) - Yugoslavia. At the beginning, the contingent consisted of soldiers from 18th Air-mobile Assault Battalion of 6th Air-mobile Assault Brigade from Bielsko-Bia?a. Nowadays, soldiers of the Polish-Ukrainian Peace Forces Battalion take part in it. The Battalion consists of 842 soldiers (545 Polish, 267 Ukrainian, 30 Lithuanian platoon);- military contingent in MIF forces in Persian Gulf, consisting of 6 professional soldiers from the Polish Navy. It began to operate within the mission territory on 21st October 2000;

- military contingent in United Nations mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE). It consists of six professional soldiers from the Land Forces, being a part of multinational SHIRBRiG brigade, executing its tasks within the UNMEE mission. The Polish contingent begin to operate on the mission territory on 23rd November 2000.

Additionally, Polish military forces take part in following peace operations:

- Strategic Reserve SFOR/KFOR of the General Commander of the NATO Combined Forces in Europe (SACEUR). From January 1998 till July 1999 this task had been realized by the 18th Airborne Assault battalion of the 6th Airborne Assault Brigade. From August 1999 the 10th mechanized battalion from the 10th Armored Cavalry Brigade succeeded the Reserve function. From March till November 2000 it was serving in Kosovo, supporting KFOR operations;

- LITPOLBAT (Lithuanian-Polish) and POLUKRBAT (Polish-Ukrainian); battalions of peace forces. Both units were fully prepared to the operations at the beginning of 1999;
"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5




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