Polish Drawsko Pomorskie range is a place where a joint exercise of the French Leclerc tanks, coming from the 12th Cuirassiers Regiment and the 2nd Battalion of the 15th Giżycko Mechanized Brigade of the Polish Army, armed with the BMP-1 IFVs, has just begun. The training operations are planned to last until 29th May, and they are going to involve almost 1000 soldiers, including 300 French troops. This is the largest exercise involving the French forces, which has been planned to happen this year.
A company of the French tanks, as well as the Polish mechanized battalion have both been reinforced, in order to form an independent, Tactical Combat Group, equipped, e.g. with the Leclerc tanks, BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles, VBCI wheeled infantry fighting vehicles, VAB APC’s, Sapper element and an anti-aircraft battery.
In total, the forces are using more than 100 vehicles, most of which are armoured, along with a large quantity of tanks. The forces involved in the exercise are going to be joined by the Canadian and US elements that are currently maintaining their presence in Poland.
“Puma 15” exercise constitutes a peak point of the French presence in Poland, which is going to last – in total – for two months. At the end of the range-operations the tanks are going to be involved in live-fire training. The overall objective of the exercise is to raise the level of NATO interoperability and to train the joint operations under the Polish command.