Territorial Defence Forces

Polish President, Reserve Forces And Allies Together - Dragon-15 Exercise [Photos]

  • "Nacjonalistyczna Swoboda przystępuje do organizowania bojówek na zachodzie kraju pod hasłem rozprawienia się z „tradycyjnymi wrogami Ukrainy i jej zdrajcami” (na wiecach palone są kukły ministra obrony oskarżonego o współpracę z Rosjanami)."- fot. Wikipedia
    "Nacjonalistyczna Swoboda przystępuje do organizowania bojówek na zachodzie kraju pod hasłem rozprawienia się z „tradycyjnymi wrogami Ukrainy i jej zdrajcami” (na wiecach palone są kukły ministra obrony oskarżonego o współpracę z Rosjanami)."- fot. Wikipedia
  • Fot.

President Andrzej Duda visited the Polish Orzysz military training area, where the Dragon exercise is taking place. The operation also involves the Polish Reserve Forces, as well as the Territorial Defence component. NATO units take part in the exercise too, including some elements coming from the United Kingdom and Germany. The most decisive part of the exercise has just begun.  

President Duda stressed the role of the reserve forces, taking part in the exercise. He thanked them for their presence, at the same time stressing the role of the actions undertaken in cooperation with the regular operational units in the following words: Thank you for your presence here, thank you for taking part in an exercise with the regulararmy – Duda stressed.

President of Poland also gave his acknowledgements to the families and employers of the reserve soldiers who were called for duty, in order to participate in the Dragon operation. During the Dragon 2015 exercise, for the first time since the reserve forces training initiative has been reactivated back in 2013, a new coherent unit was formed, consisting of the reserve troops – the 5th Territorial Defence battalion. Also, for the first time ever, a Territorial Defence unit is involved in a joint exercise with the allies. The command posts of the forces involved in the operations have been redeployed - this means that the exercise enters the decisive phase, as it is being stressed by lieutenant Błażej Łukaszewski of the 12th Stettin Mechanized Division.

Dragon Spike
Fot. chor. Rafał Mniedło/11 LDKPanc.

President Duda also met the soldiers of the Multinational Combat Group, involving the soldiers of the Polish, British and German armed forces. Representatives of the mechanized infantry units are using, respectively, Rosomak APC and Warrior and Marder IFV vehicles.

Dragon Niemcy
Fot. Heer/Maximilian Schulz.

Tomasz Siemoniak, Minister of Defence, made references to the presence of the NATO forces during the Dragon exercise, noting the significance related to the fact that the Trident Juncture NATO Response Force exercise is being carried out at the same time as the Dragon exercise in Poland, in the southern part of Europe, with the Dragon operation involving the soldiers coming from e.g. the United Kingdom or Germany.

I am happy with the fact that allies are involved in the exercise within our range. This emphasizes the European dimension of the NATO alliance. I consider this to be particularly valuable for us. We are in close cooperation with our partners, including those from Germany (...) I am very happy with the fact that the British are among those, who are involved in the NATO readiness action plan undertaken in in the light of the Ukrainian crisis, along with the allies coming from the United States. This is very relevant for us. It is not about being in possession of well trained forces, it is also about the fact that the decision related to the continuous rotational presence of the allied forces, made by NATO, is being realized.

Tomasz Siemoniak, Minister of Defence

The press releases made by the German and British authorities also contained information, related to the scope of involvement of own forces in the Dragon training exercise. The British have stressed the fact that their deployment, sent to take part in the autumn exercise in Poland, consists of more than 800 troops and 130 vehicles, including a company of Challenger 2 tanks (18 examples), along with the Warrior infantry fighting vehicles. The exercise involved a portion of the aforesaid deployment, all of the troops were involved in an exercise in Drawsko Pomorskie, together with the Polish 7th Coastal Defence Brigade. 

Dragon Leo polski
Strzelanie polskiego czołgu Leopard 2A5 podczas ćwiczeń Dragon. Fot. Heer/Maximilian Schulz.

The British Army has deployed its Lead Armoured Battle Group to Poland for the second time this year. This is a battalion sized combat group. A similar unit took part in the Black Eagle 2014 exercise. Michael Fallon, the UK Secretary of Defence, stressed the fact that the exercises, similar to the one organized in Poland, get the British prepared for commanding the NATO rapid response forces (the so called “Spearhead”).

Dragon Leopard
Fot. chor. Rafał Mniedło/11 LDKPanc.

Meanwhile, the Germans have deployed a reinforced company, coming from the 212th Armoured Grenadiers Battalion (mechanized infantry), along with an armoured platoon equipped with the Leopard 2A6 tanks, complemented with support and commanding elements. The deployment of the equipment was realized via railways. The press services note the great importance of the technical support units and of the spare parts supply system. The spare parts are shipped to Orzysz from warehouses located even 1300 kilometers away. In order to realize the aforesaid task, a computer system for managing the supplies is being utilized, along with satellite communication systems.

Dragon Mi-24
Polski śmigłowiec Mi-24 prowadzi ogień z broni pokładowej. Fot. Heer/Maximilian Schulz.

Of course, live-fire training is also an important part of the operation, both with the use of small arms, as well as in case of the tanks or the infantry fighting vehicles. Crews of the Polish Mi-24 attack helicopters were also involved in this type of operations during the Dragon exercise. Same applies to the troops who are equipped with the ATGM systems, including the German Milan systems mounted on the Marder 1 IFV, and the Polish Spike-LR portable ATGMs. 

Dragon Spike
Fot. chor. Rafał Mniedło/11 LDKPanc.