Saturday, December 25, 2010


The Polish armed forces are composed of four branches: Land Forces (Wojska Lądowe), Navy (Marynarka Wojenna), Air Force (Siły Powietrzne) and Special Forces (Wojska Specjalne). The military is subordinate to the Minister for National Defence, however its sole commander in chief is the President of the Republic.

The Polish army currently consists of 65,000 active personnel, whilst the navy and air force respectively employ 14,300 and 26,126 servicemen and women. The Polish Navy is one of the bigger navies on the Baltic Sea and is mostly involved in Baltic Sea operations such as search and rescue provision for the section of the Baltic under Polish command, as well as hydrographic measurements and research; recently however, the Polish Navy played a more international role as part of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, providing logistical support for the United States Navy. The current position of the Polish air force is much the same, it has routinely taken part in Baltic Air Policing assignments.

The most important mission of the Armed Forces is the defence of Polish territorial integrity and Polish interests abroad. Poland's national security goal is to further integrate with NATO and European defence, economic, and political institutions through the modernisation and reorganisation of its military. Currently the armed forces is being re-organised according to NATO standards, and as of 1 January 2010, the transition to an entirely contract-based military has been completed. Previously male citizens were expected to complete a period of active service with the military; since 2007 up until the amendment of the law on conscription, the obligatory term of service was nine months.

Polish military doctrine reflects the same defensive nature as that of its NATO partners. Poland is also playing an increasing role as a peacekeeping power through various United Nations peacekeeping missions. The Polish Armed Forces took part in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, deploying 2,500 soldiers in the south of that country and commanding the 17-nation Multinational force in Iraq. In addition to this, Polish soldiers are currently deployed in five separate UN Peacekeeping Operations (UNDOF, UNIFIL, EUFOR and KFOR). The total international deployment of the Polish military is currently over 4,800 troops.

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