In accordance with a joint decision of the US Department of Defense and the Polish Defense Ministry a modified Polish-American exercise DEFENDER-Europe 20 Plus will take place on June 5 to 19. During the exercise, the ability of Polish and American soldiers to cooperate in a joint combat operation will be tested.
In total, around 6,000 soldiers, 100 tanks and over 230 combat vehicles will be involved in the exercise at the Drawsko Pomorskie training ground in Poland. Of those, about 4 000 U.S. soldiers will come from the 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters (Forward); 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division; and 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade; and approximately 2 000 Polish soldiers will come from the 6th Polish Airborne Brigade; 9th Polish Armored Calvary Brigade; and 12th Polish Mechanized Brigade.
The Drawsko Pomorskie training ground has been an area of joint activities for Polish and American soldiers since the end of February.
However, everything indicates almost zero “interoperability” with the Americans. According to Col. Patrick O’Neal, 2nd ABCT commander, “cooperation began with catastrophic equipment shortages and organizational mess.” – “The Polish logistics services prepared the training ground for stationing a significant number of troops in their own way. In total there were several dozen old railway wagons, upholstered in wood in the mid-60s and turned into apartments. Storage places, parking, tents – all set up by American soldiers”, he added.
The level of combat training of Polish soldiers according to Col. Patrick O’Neal is inefficient and ineffective, and the skills acquired during training using outdated equipment do not meet the requirements of modern battlefield. – “The training takes place with the use of outdated equipment, in the absence of basic combat means. You have to have something to shoot from, and from what they have they get poor range and firepower – because the only thing they can shoot with is underwear elastic band. The best equipment is that of military chaplains – new combat sprinklers,” Colonel Patrick O’Neal had no mercy for Polish soldiers.
It is not surprising. Everyone is certainly aware of the actual state of training in the Polish army. And no “strategic reviews”, prayers and the newly formed territorial forces will disguise the fact that our army’s combat potential is below criticism. The Polish Defense minister himself admits the fact: “We are prepared to scare off any aggressor. B-1B bomber flew over Poland three days ago.” If our potential opponent is to be deterred by the flight of one American plane, what further commenting is to be made? They dream of space equipment and have soldiers equipped at the level of the Third World Army.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.