Polish Ministry of Defence assures that the FY2017 budget secures the expenditure required to form the Territorial Defence component of the Polish Army, in an amount of more than one billion zlotys. As it was stressed by the Secretary of State at the Polish Ministry of Defence, Bartosz Kownacki, in his reply to a parliamentary question, a certain portion of the aforesaid funds is going to be used to cover the material plans, the purpose of which would be to acquire equipment, materials, or to cover the relevant investments.
In a response to a parliamentary question asked by MP Tomasz Lenz (Civic Platform party), concerning the funding of the founding of the Territorial Defence component, Kownacki clarified that more than one billion zlotys is going to be utilized for that purpose in the FY2017 budget.
Within the MoD’s budgetary bill, assets have been secured to cover the expenditure on that undertaking, in an amount of PLN 1,096,904 thousands, including: - PLN 265,696 - In order to maintain the human resources in the professional units, employees, and to cover the spending related to securing involvement of the reserve soldiers in the exercises, with a reference to the troops who would have their territorial assignment defined (including: salaries, remaining receivables, board, transport to the exercises, health insurance pay, readiness bonus), - PL N 831,208 - In order to cover the central material plans (including procurement of the military equipment, materials and construction works).
As we can see, a large portion of the amount, the purpose of which is to fund forming of the Territorial Defence, is going to cover the procurement of the military equipment, and implementation of the material plans. Whereas one should note that the first agreements concerning the equipment have already been signed. They are related to the Piorun MANPADS systems, including 1300 missiles and 420 launchers, or to the PCO-delivered optroni hardware. It shall also be noted that firearms would also be delivered to the Territorial Defence units within a wide scope, along with individual equipment and software. The Territorial Defence is one of the five priorities of the amendment of the Polish Army’s Technical Modernization Plan that had been previously approved by the Polish Minister of Defence, Antoni Macierewicz.
In line with the Act signed by the President, Territorial Defence is going to become the fifth branch of the Armed Forces, alongside the Land Forces, Air Force, Navy and Special Forces. The commander of the said component is going to be assigned by the President, with countersignature of the PM, and would respond directly to the Minister of Defence, not to the General Commander. At the moment, Brig. General Wiesław Kukuła is the acting commander of the new branch of the Army.
Territorial Defence component is expected to consist out of 35 thousand soldiers in 2018, and 53 thousand troops in 2019. Up until then, the costs of forming and operational activities of the aforesaid units are estimated at the level of PLN 3.6 billion. Within a few years, the Ministry is willing to create 17 brigades (one in each Voivodeship, and two in the Masovia). First, brigades are to be formed in the Podlachian, Lubuskie and Subcarpathian Voivoodeships, along with four battalions, in Białystok, Lublin, Rzeszów and Siedlce.