During the yesterday's meeting of the Polish Parliament, Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz has presented a summary of the first six months of the Ministry’s operations, in front of PM Beata Szydło.
Antoni Macierewicz defined the goal of the steps undertaken by the Polish Ministry of Defence as follows: bolstering the power of the Polish Army, with support provision realized through by collaboration with the allies, including permanent presence of NATO ad US forces on the Eastern Flank, especially in Poland”
Achievements of the Ministry
Minister Macierewicz started his speech, by announcing the information regarding the adoption (in January this year) of an act which abolishes the limitation of 12 years of maximum employment periods for the privates, whose service in Army is regulated by a contract, and who serve in the army as professionals. This, as Macierewicz states, makes it possible “for the experienced soldiers, especially the privates” to continue their service, on condition that this personnel meets the “health and physical requirements”. The Ministry also made a decision to get rid of the promotion limits which, as the current leadership of the Polish Ministry of Defence suggests, have been hampering the professional development for the younger officers and Non-Commissioned Officers. According to the Ministry, at this stage, the career paths for the Polish soldiers are being rearranged, especially for the service members who are capable of assuming high positions. The Minister also recalled the fact that the professional contracted soldiers and civil employees of the Armed Forces may also expect a raise in pay (250 and 250-300 zlotys respectively).
As Macierewicz announced, quantity of the Army personnel is also going to be increased, ultimately up to at least 150 thousand troops. According to the Minister, the concept of a new type of an armed service, the territorial defence component, has also been a significant achievement. Implementation of that concept has already been initiated.
As it was noted by the Defence Minister, the most important task which is to be undertaken by the Ministry is related to repair and reform of the command and control system implemented within the Polish Army. According to the declarations made by Macierewicz, a unified command structure for the Army shall be restored. The NATO Counter-Intelligence Centre of Excellence in Cracow also underwent relevant changes.
The new leadership of the Ministry also prepared a new, realistic technological modernization plan for the Army, in collaboration with the management of the Polish Armament Group. Macierewicz noted that the upgraded plan will allow the Army to actively defend the Polish territory. Moreover, construction works pertaining to the US missile defence system have also been initiated.
Antoni Macierewicz also referred to the ongoing preparations for the NATO Summit in Warsaw. According to the Minister, the airspace over Warsaw, underneath which the meeting of the alliance is to take place, has been properly secured. The airspace protection will come in a form of military and cybernetic defensive measures. The Defence Minister also mentioned the fact that the areas, within which the NATO Summit and the World Youth Day are scheduled, will become a subject of relevant surveillance.
Antoni Macierewicz summed up the six months of the undertaken works in 25 points, as follows:
The Polish Ministry of Defence undertook a liquidation decision pertaining to “the unjustified promotion limits, blocking the development of career paths, especially for the younger officers and NCOs”. According to Macierewicz, the limits which have been in place for years played an economic role limiting the remunerations”, and abolishment of those limits constitutes “the first stage of introducing order in the career paths of the soldiers who are capable of assuming command positions”.“Right after this section of the HR policy is brought to order, further actions are going to be taken, the aim of which would be to raise the quantity of troops serving in the Army up to at least 150 thousand soldiers” - as Macierewicz added.
“In the light of the deficiencies within the area related to the preparations of the NATO summit that had been undertaken earlier, at request of the Ministry of Defence, the Parliament of Republic of Poland adopted two, new, special purpose Acts.First one – within the scope of options of using the procurement mode compliant with the public procurement standards, but without any redundant delays.The problem was that delays introduced by our predecessors led us to a situation in which extraordinary decisions need to be taken.And second Act concerns the scope of provision of comprehensive level of security for the participants of the NATO summit.Within that issue, in order to provide proper conditions when it comes to reception of armed units of the allied states within the territory of Poland, and in order to make it possible for those units to operate, within the NATO framework, the Polish Parliament adopted an Act, covering the issue of stay of foreign forces, within the territory of Poland.It is obvious that if the NATO presence in Poland is to be permanent, the movement of those forces shall be easier, with simultaneous retaining of the decision capabilities in the Polish hands, in the hands of Mr. President, Mrs. PM, and the Minister of Defence..”
The Parliament has adopted an act which “brings a modern Academy of Art of War into life, replacing the National Defence University of Warsaw, burdened with bad communist heritage”. “Eight resolutions by the Council of Ministers have also been adopted, whereas three of them have already been published within the Journal of Laws, along with 46 resolutions issued by the Minister of Defence, with 26 already published in the Journal of Laws.”as Macierewicz noted.
“The concept, within which a new type of the Polish Armed Forces – Territorial Defence – is going to be established, has been prepared, and implementation process has been initiated, by delegating the decision for execution pertaining to creation of three staff offices for the Territorial Defence Brigades, along with the first four battalions, stationed in the district cities located in the region of the Eastern border of Poland”.
“Within the framework of the new State Commission on Aircraft Accidents Investigation, a subcommittee has been brought to life, which has been tasked with diligent examination of the Smolensk crash causes and events.”
“In collaboration with the Slovak Ministry of Defence, NATO Counter-Intelligence Centre of Excellence located in Cracow has been rearranged”
“Anti-corruption activities have been carried out, with 12 reports of criminal activities submitted to the Prosecutor”.
“Remuneration received by the professional soldiers has been raised by 250 zlotys on average, while the raises for the civil employees of the military, which have not been implemented for a long time, will reach amounts from 250 to 350 zlotys.”;
“Preparations for the NATO summit in Warsaw have been finalized.Within the political dimension, a decision has been made by the NATO ministries of defence, pertaining to establishment of NATO permanent forward presence in Poland, involving the forces which are capable of undertaking operational activities immediately.Within the organizational dimension, proper financing is ensured.Agreements have been signed, guaranteeing, which was arranged with the NATO HQ, that the deadlines of implementation of the basic initiatives, including arrangement of the National Stadium, (...) are determined”
“Safety of the airspace over Warsaw, hosting the NATO summit, is ensured, in a form of military and ICT protection.Constant monitoring of the meeting area is in place, also when it comes to the area which hosts the World Youth Day, with employment of unmanned aerial platforms, drones, capable of recognizing and controlling the dangerous events and persons.;”
“Agreement has been signed, with a significant value for modernization of the Polish Armed Forces, namely an agreement covering the overhauls and modernization of the Leopard Tanks, and Agreement pertaining to procurement of Rak Self Propelled Mortars from Huta Stalowa Wola has also been signed, with 64 mortars to be acquired in total, along with an agreement which brings back to life the Sanok-based Autosan automotive manufacturing facility.When it comes to the Rak mortars - [we did it] obviously once we made sure that ammunition is available for them, which was not the case earlier”
“Priorities for the new, realistic Technological Modernization Plan for the Armed Forces have been prepared and arranged together with involvement on the part of the management of the Polish Armament Group, making it possible to provide the Polish Army with capacity of actively defending the Polish territory from potential aggression”;
“Construction works pertaining to an American Missile Defence system base in Redzikowo have been initiated, base the construction of which was delayed by at least eight years.I shall recall that this initiative was brought to life by the late Mr. President, Lech Kaczynski.”;
“NATO Forces Integration Unit has been established in Bydgoszcz, which has a basic meaning within the scope of making it possible to quickly move the VJTF and NATO Response Forces components.”
“A Ministerial programme has been developed, within the scope of supporting the research potential in the field of national defence.This programme will make it possible to acquire innovative technological solutions, supporting the combat capabilities of the Polish Armed Forces.”
“For the first time in the history of the Polish – French relationship, a bilateral collaboration plan has been signed”;
“Within the framework of active participation in the process within which the Eastern and Southern flanks are reinforced, forces supporting the NATO operations in the Aegan region and patrol – reconnaissance operations in the Middle East have been deployed”;
“NATO airspace presence in the Northern Europe within the framework of the Air Policing operation has been bolstered, a decision has been made to send a mechanized company to the Baltic States in 2016”.
“Readiness and certification of the Multinational Corps North-East command in Stettin for execution of tasks resulting from the NATO readiness plan has been achieved”;
“Leading nation status, among the following group, has been obtained:Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary; within the framework of the first stand-by by the EU Battle group, taking place during the first half of the current year.At the same time, it has been assured that the Ukrainian Army is going to be involved, which is an important step in building the Kiev-EU relation, and may be seen as a joint contribution to the national security.;
“Polish Dunaj air defence system became a part of the NATO IADS.This shall make it possible to securely exchange the information with the NATO air defence command stations.”
“At the moment, intensive preparations are underway, within the Polish territory, for the “Anakonda-16” exercise, which is the largest ever military exercise that has been organized in the history of independent Poland.The allied exercise is expected to involve almost 30 thousand soldiers”
“Polish Army has regained the independence-related tradition of the “disavowed soldiers””
“50% of the commanding staff of the operational units of the Polish Army has been replaced”
“Within the upcoming period, the most important task for the Polish Ministry of Defence is to carry out refinement of the command and control system of the Polish Armed Forces, with reinstatement of the unified command rule for the Polish Army”