First Training of the RAK Mortar Unit’s Personnel
The first training of the personnel which is going to form the core of the company-sized M120K Rak self-propelled mortars unit, has taken place in Nowa Dęba.
During the period between 6th March and 7th April 2017, within the area of the Huta Stalowa Wola (Stalowa Wola Metalworks – HSW) facility, and within the adjacent Field Training Centre of Nowa Dęba, soldiers hailing from the Artillery and Armament Training Centre have been involved in a training for the staff which is to be enlisted within the company-sized mortar unit, utilizing the M120K vehicles, also known as “Rak”.
As Cpt. Agnieszka Śmiechowska claims, the soldiers hailing from that centre, as the first group in Poland, have been involved in a course, during which they were getting acquainted with the operation of a new “fire module” - this is how the Rak mortar complex is referred to in Poland. The training course consisted of two stages. During the initial two weeks the soldiers were involved in a number of theoretical classes. They got acquainted with the design and operational profile of the armament and the military hardware, also learning about the general characteristics and purpose of the new equipment. Practical application of the obtained knowledge was yet another stage of the training operation, and this portion of the event was organized at the Nowa Dęba range, during a course of firing and fire control procedures.
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During the whole duration of the training course, the mortar commanders, gunners, gunner’s mates, drivers and a group of logisticians, could all have counted on knowledge and support provided by the HSW engineers, and by engineers of companies which were involved in the process of developing the module, i.e. Arex sp. z o. o., WB Electronics sp. z o.o. and Rosomak S.A.. Additional feedback was provided by Res. Col. Marek Skubiszewski who noted that the Thornian soldiers may be proud of the fact that they are the first to come into contact with the new equipment, while their involvement in the training process and valuable remarks concerning the new equipment would make it possible to enhance it, also facilitating implementation of new tasks assigned by the superiors.
In mid-May, further portion of training has been scheduled to take place at the Thorn Training Centre, where the fire module, in its entirety, would complete its training activities with a live-fire exercise.
The contract, referring to procurement of the equipment for 8 company-sized units using the Rak mortar, was signed at the HSW facility on 28th April 2016, in presence of the Polish Prime Minister, Beata Szydło. HSW S.A. and Rosomak S.A. companies form a consortium which is the Party who acts as the contractor, within the scope of the said contract. The contract covers procurement of 64 mortars and 32 artillery command vehicles, and it is expected to be finalized and implemented within the period between 2017 and 2019. Both of the aforesaid components are based on the same carrier, which leads to simplification of any maintenance or logistical issues that could potentially emerge within the units operating the new equipment. These units, at the same time, are also utilizing wheeled Rosomak APCs, which constitute the base for the new mortar system.