Territorial Defence Forces

Polish State Guard: 300 Thousand Volunteers?

Tomasz Siemoniak, Polish Minister of Defence, is going to receive a proposal to create a State Guard next week. The State Guard is going to be a volunteer formation supporting the Polish Army in crisis situations, including natural catastrophes or armed conflict. The creator of the initiative, General Bogusław Pacek, President of the Federation of the Pro-Defence Organizations and adviser of the President, estimates that the target number of the soldiers in the Guard is going to reach 300 thousand volunteers - as it was reported by the Rzeczpospolita daily.  

As it was announced by the “Rzeczpospolita” daily, the reporters of which have been able to obtain the detailed assumptions of the plans made by the Ministry, the State Guard is going to consist of volunteers, including reserve troops, members of the pro-defence organizations, members of the shooting associations, hunters and firefighters. The structure of the new organization is to be reminiscent of its counterparts in Sweden or Estonia.

Training programme for the instructors, who are going to train the members of the State Guard, is going to begin this year. We cannot rule out a situation in which the members of the formation receive remuneration for service – as it was stressed by “Rzeczpospolita”. Throughout the initial 3 years, the organization is going to have its units established in large Voivodeship and District capitals.

During the peacetime, the State Guard is to support the self-governments in the process of neutralizing the effects of the natural and human-made catastrophes and in other crisis situations. During the wartime, the formation is going to play an auxiliary role in relation to the Army and other services. The scope of responsibilities is going to include protection of the civilians and defensive operations at the Polish border. Most probably, the members of the State Guard are going to be equipped with the decommissioned weapons used by the Polish Army, however, we cannot rule out a situation in which some specialized purchases are going to be made.

Decision related to establishment of the State Guard is a major step towards reinforcement of the defensive capabilities of Poland. The country is going to be more resistant to potential aggression. It is worth to recall the fact that Sweden decided to reinforce the Swedish component of this type, after the Ukrainian crisis had begun. So far, we do not have any exact data about the structure or organization of the new formation. It should also be noted that a properly functioning territorial formation is going to have to be properly supported with relevant resources, including the finances, needed to realize trainings, or to procure the proper equipment.