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Polish troops training on Patriot missiles to deter aggressors: Deputy PM

07.02.2023 12:50
A Polish deputy prime minister has said that Polish soldiers are training on the Patriot air defence systems to demonstrate their combat readiness to any potential aggressors.
Mariusz Błaszczak.
Mariusz Błaszczak. PAP/Rafał Guz

Mariusz Błaszczak made the declaration in Warsaw on Tuesday, Polish state news agency PAP reported. 

The deputy PM, who is also Poland’s defence minister, watched on as Polish troops trained swiftly moving the Patriot batteries to a different location and arranging them into combat shape.  

Part of the “Patriot Familiarisation” programme, the exercise took place at the Warsaw-Babice military airfield in the Polish capital, the defence24.pl website reported.

Błaszczak told the assembled media: “These are pre-planned exercises. The soldiers are being trained to move as a unit and assume a new position, as well as to coordinate the various elements that make up the Patriot system.” 

The deputy PM stressed that as a rule such drills were kept confidential, but “this time the Defence Ministry deliberately announced them.”

'These drills are designed to deter potential aggressors'

Błaszczak stated: “We’ll be deliberately publicising certain exercises. These drills are designed to deter potential aggressors. We are showcasing the combat readiness of the Polish Army.”

He added that the participating troops were already well-drilled and the exercises were intended to cultivate combat-readiness. 

Błaszczak also revealed that a team of Polish air-defence rocket forces would head to the US this week to be trained on the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS).

“It’s the most advanced system there is, only the US and Polish forces are implementing it,” the defence minister stressed.   

Poland in March 2019 signed what officials described as a historic deal to buy Patriot air defence systems from the United States for USD 4.75 billion.

The Polish president and defence minister in October attended an event at a training ground in the northern city of Toruń to test the first battery of the country’s newly delivered Patriot surface-to-air missile systems, news outlets reported at the time.

Last month, a Patriot air defence system provided by Germany to bolster NATO’s eastern flank amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine also arrived in Poland, according to officials.      

Tuesday is day 349 of Russia’s war against Ukraine. 


Source: PAP, defence24.pl, rmf24.pl, euractiv.com