Special Operations Forces
The allied Field Training Exercise (FTX) ʺNoble Sword-14ʺ will take place on military training areas in Poland and Lithuania in September this year. It will be a certification for NATO Special Operations Component (SOC) before taking over combat readiness duties within the NATO Response Forces in 2015 (NRF 2015). Altogether, about 1700 soldiers from 15 countries will take part in the exercise.
For more than 3 weeks soldiers will be practising on military training areas in Poland (Drawsko Pomorskie, Bemowo Piskie, Nadarzyce), Lithuania (Rukla) and the Baltic Sea areas (Gulf of Gdańsk). Special Operations Component Command (SOCC) staff, which will be the main exercise player, is based on soldiers from Polish Special Operations Centre - the Special Forces Component Command (SOC-SFCC) in Cracow. 5 Special Operation Task Groups (SOTG’s): 3 land SOTG’s (Polish, Dutch and Lithuanian) 1 maritime and 1 air (both Polish) will take responsibility for conducting practical tasks assigned by SOCC.
Planning and conducting special operations by Special Operations Component Command and Special Operation Task Groups as a part of allied article 5 Collective Defense is the core subject of the exercise. The main goal of ʺNoble Sword-14ʺ is to confirm the NATO Special Operations Component ability to planning and conducting special operations, verification of SOCC multinational structure and procedures and combining the chosen elements of combat systems.
15 countries will participate in ʺNoble Sword-14ʺ: Croatia, Estonia, France, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Germany, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the USA, Turkey, Hungary, Great Britain and Italy. The exercise will be supported by conventional forces and several institutions: the Border Guard, the Police and the Customs Service. SOTG’s activity will also be supported by Mi-17 helicopters, F-16 fighter jets, transport aircrafts (C-130 Hercules and C-295 Casa) and the Polish Navy ships ORP Wodnik, ORP Zbyszko and ORP Arctowski.
NATO Special Operations Component combat readiness before taking over duties within the NRF 2015 will be certificated by Multinational Certification Team consisting of specialists from Allied Joint Force Command (Naples, Italy) and the Operational Command of Polish Armed Forces. Major General Piotr Patalong, the Inspector of Special Forces to General Command of the Polish Armed Forces will hold the post of ʺNoble Sword-14ʺ Exercise Director.
In 2015 Poland will play the role of the framework nation in the area of NATO Special Operations Component. It means that the Polish Special Forces soldiers create the main part of NATO Special Operations Component. Polish Special Forces units start their combat readiness duties from 1st January till 31st December.
MAJ Michał Romańczuk