Tomasz Szatkowski, Undersecretary of State at the Polish Ministry of Defence, took part in the Halifax International Security Forum (HISF) conference, organized in Canada. During the sessions of the conference, current international security challenges were being discussed. Throughout the talks, it was confirmed that Poland is going to have a tank unit deployed, as a contribution to the NATO Battalion Unit stationed in Latvia.
The release issued by the Szatkowski’s office states that Canadian Deputy Minister of National Defence, John Forster, thanked Poland for deploying a tank company which is to constitute a contribution to the battalion group stationed in Latvia. The above means that the information published by the Latvian media, suggesting that the Canadian-led unit would be supported by the Polish armoured elements, has been confirmed. Before that, we had known that Poland would support the “Canadian” unit, however the scope of the said support remained a mystery. This is yet another sign of involvement, on the part of the Polish tank units, in the NATO operations supporting the Eastern Flank.
Back in 2015, one of the Polish Leopard 2A4 main battle tank battalions remained on alert, as a part of the VJTF “Spearhead” unit. The Polish element was detatched from the 10th Armoured Cavalry Brigade. This year, a similar role has been assumed by an armoured battalion utilizing the Leopard 2A5 main battle tanks, detatched from the 34th Armoured Cavalry Brigade.
We know that the Polish tank units will be cooperating with the Canadians using, among other pieces equipment, the modernized LAV III APCs. Other battalion teams in the Baltic states will also have main battle tanks at their disposal, including the German Leopard 2 tanks in Lithuania and British Challenger 2 tanks, operating from Estonia.