Polish Territorial Defence Force gains first 400 soldiers
PR dla Zagranicy
Some 400 soldiers have joined the ranks of Poland’s newly formed Territorial Defence Force (WOT), which aims to support the army and teach patriotism to local communities.
Official swearing-in of Territorial Defence Force soldiers in Rzeszów. Photo: PAP/Darek Delmanowicz.
“The Territorial Defence Force is as of today a foundation of the Polish army,” Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz said in Rzeszów, southeastern Poland, on Sunday, as 159 part-time volunteers completing a 16-day basic training and were sworn in to one of three newly-formed brigades.
“With you, the Polish army will be unbeatable,” Macierewicz said.
He added that the force’s main role was to serve the local community and shape it so that “no enemy will ever threaten it”.
The 400 volunteers do not have any previous military experience. They will be joined by ex-military WOT-reservists to together form light-infantry companies which are expected to be operations-ready in three years.
Three more brigades are currently being formed, seven new ones are expected to be created next year, and a further four in 2019.
Plans to create the new force were first announced by Macierewicz last year amid concerns over Russia’s “aggressive intentions”. (vb/rg)