Armed Forces

Generals: High Time to Polish Command System Reform. Artillery Assigned to Territorial Defence

Generałowie na Defence24 Days: korpus w Wojskach Lądowych, artyleria w WOT
Generals, along with the Chief of the General Staff, taking part in Defence24 Days 2024.
Photo. Defence24

It’s high time to reform the command and control system. Corps as the key operational element in the Army. Expansion of the reconnaissance units. Artillery companies in the Territorial Defence Forces. These changes have been announced by the top commanders of the Polish Armed Forces, taking part in the Defence24 Days conference.


“We will be modelling our battle systems in a way that would make corps, from the Army’s standpoint, the key operational element that would define warfighting in the land domain and utilize strike systems deep behind the enemy lines”, said General Wiesław Kukuła, Chief of the General Staff. He added that the goal here is to “destroy the enemy at depth, only to allow the remainder of forces to fight our first line”, and to disorganize the enemy logistics.


The key assumption behind these changes would involve balancing the sensors and effectors systems, allowing for the effective employment of weapons. This, as Kukuła said, requires changes to be made to the reconnaissance system. It is planned that three reconnaissance regiments would be transformed into brigades. “The number of divisions will certainly not be lower. Maybe we will have one more”, the Chief of the General Staff said.

Operational Commander, Div. Gen. Maciej Klisz noted that one of the advantages that a corps-oriented organization entails is the fact that the commander of the division would have an easier job to do. This will bring benefits to the brigade commander, and consequently, the battalion commander as well. The 2nd Polish Corps that is being established brings in the capabilities that we did not have, he said. He added that as an operational commander, he knows the relationship between the effector, and the person managing the effector well. “Now I can take shots beyond the line of sight. Which is not good for the military - blind boxer syndrome appears. I can strike, but I do not know what I am hitting”, he said. He noted that a turn taken towards a corps-based structure has also been made at the NATO level, with three corps-level commands remaining active in Poland: Corps North-East, 2nd Polish Corps, and V US Corps. “We are engaged in intense exercises with other corps-level units, which has been proven during the latest HIMARS Academy conference, where we talk about how to coordinate deep strikes”, he added.


The changes are to extend beyond the operational forces. “I hope that we will bring the project aimed at building the Territorial Defence Forces structures to an end”, said Territorial Defence Forces commander, Brig. General Krzysztof Stańczyk. Forming of the 15th “Lubuska”, and 17th “Opolska” Territorial Defence brigades is to be finalized.

“Between 2026-29 we are planning to establish a couple of support companies, equipped with artillery systems that will conduct strikes at distances of ca. 20-25 kilometres”, General Stańczyk said. The artillery elements would support the commander fighting in the area of direct battle. Stańczyk added that the lessons learned in Ukraine indicate the necessity to depart from the doctrine-driven assumption that the Territorial Defence Forces would only conduct operations in their fixed area of responsibility. He recalled that the deployment of Territorial Defence Forces to support the Border Guard has been an exception from the aforesaid rule. He assured that subordinating the Territorial Defence component to the Chief of General Staff (planned to happen mid-August) will not have an impact on the branch’s capabilities. He recalled that the certification exercise is planned to happen in mid-June.

The Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces also mentioned the necessity to change the HR management in the Armed Forces. The number of troops, as he noted, does not include the reserve troops who have been in training for years.

General Klisz also pointed out the common military service concept adopted in the US, referring not just to the professionalized forces, but also to the reserves, and the society as a whole.

Deputy Head of the National Security Bureau, General Dariusz Łukowski, referring to the presidential bill changing the Armed Forces« command and control system stated that the “reform should be done now, when Ukraine is stopping the Russians. It’s going to be too late in three years. It’s high time, it’s a pity we have not done it earlier”, he said, referring to the bill.

As he said, the current system makes it far more difficult to engage in the decision-making process on using the military, which has been proven by many exercises at the governmental level.”We cannot keep half of the command posts at idle during the wartime, we cannot afford it. We also cannot afford officers, getting ready to complete the tasks, do those tasks in a location and with a purpose different, during peacetime, and wartime”, he said. “We are coming back to the rule: you train-you command-you are held responsible. Based on the operational command, best prepared to command a defensive operation, joint command would be established. We are not touching the tissue directly responsible for the command processes. Bringing a single, joint command to life is to integrate the capabilities and combat the inertia”, he assured.

He noted that it is also about an efficient response to operations below the threshold of war, indicated directly by the Russian doctrines.