Armed Forces

Bundeswehr Begins a Joint Training Exercise with the Polish “Black Division” Unit

  • Start rakiety Rokot zbudowanej na bazie UR-100N, fot.
    Start rakiety Rokot zbudowanej na bazie UR-100N, fot.
  • ah_64_gallery_lrg_05_960
  • Fot. Domena publiczna
    Fot. Domena publiczna

A Joint exercise, involving the Polish 11th “Lubuska” Armoured Cavalry Division along with the Bundeswehr units, has just begun. A series of joint training events is going to make it possible to enhance cooperation of the elements of all three brigades functioning within the division, with the German units which were assigned do cooperate with the elements of the Polish Army.

According to Cpt. Ariadna Wołyńska, soldiers of the 2nd Mechanized Company of the 10th Mechanized Battalion “Dragoons” (of the 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade) have just begun joint operations with the allies hailing from the 3rd Mechanized Company of the 401st German Mechanized Battalion which is a part of the 41st Mechanized Brigade of the Bundeswehr. The Polish unit still remains on combat alert, within the framework of the NATO Response Force.

Major Artur Pinkowski of the 11th “Lubuska” Armoured Cavalry Division stated that throughout the upcoming months, some elements of the remaining two brigades of the aforesaid division are also expected to participate in a number of joint training initiatives together with the German units – Pinkowski was referring to the 34th Armoured Cavalry Brigade and the 17th “Wielkopolska” Mechanized Brigade. The first stage of training of the 10th Brigade, also involving an element of the 401st Battalion, is going to last until the end of October. Further events will involve other German elements too.

German Detachment-16
Fot. kpt. Adriana Wołyńska, por. Krzysztof Gonera, szer. Natalia Wawrzyniak

Probably, the above refers to the elements of the 411th Mechanized Battalion which is expected to, in a few years, to be placed under the command of the 34th Armoured Cavalry Brigade, within the framework of a military cooperation agreement concluded by both countries. On the other hand, the German 41st Brigade is going to take command over a tank battalion of the 34th Brigade. Such solution is designed to increase the interoperability between the armed forces of both nations, within the NATO forces framework. Obviously, the authorities of both countries retain full freedom when it comes to utilization of their military units. It shall be stressed that cooperation at the level of the minor units (below a brigade) is one of the key areas within the scope of collective defence initiatives.

On Tuesday, Germans and Poles were involved in a joint live fire training with BMP-1 and Marder IFVs participating. Additional support was provided by 120 mm mortars of the support company, connected to the Swiętoszów based mechanized battalion.

German Detachment-16
Fot. kpt. Adriana Wołyńska, por. Krzysztof Gonera, szer. Natalia Wawrzyniak

Within the framework of the said joint exercise, the battalions are going to cover movement and deployment tactics, combat support and operations within peculiar battle environments. Moreover, live fire training including fire control, and preparations involving the combat vehicles and firearms, is also going to take place. 

Furthermore, the exercise carried out by the 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade with the 401st Mechanized Battalion of the Bundeshwehr, is also going to be joined by the main battle tanks of the 1st Tank Battalion. According to Cpt. Adriana Wołynska, the joint field training and shooting range training are all going to result in exchange of relevant experience. Moreover, the Poles are also expected to get acquainted with the procedures applied by the German ally.

On the other hand, mutual subordination of the land forces battalions of the Polish Army and of the Bundeswehr (referring to the tank battalion of the 34th Brigade and the German 411th Battalion) is a result of the letter of intent, signed back in 2014, by the former Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak and his German counterpart, Ursula von Leyen.

Military cooperation with Germany, as well as the involvement exhibited by the German MoD, is highly valued by the current Polish Minister of Defence, Antoni Macierewicz.