Poland raises new infantry division along Belarus border
The Polish government has approved the formation of a new infantry unit, operating primarily in the northeastern Podlaskie Voivodeship (province) bordering Belarus.
The 1st Legions Infantry Division will be based out of Łomza province. The headquarters will be at Ciechanów, Masovian Voivodeship.
“Our task, the task of the Polish authorities, is to build a strong Polish Army. So that the aggressor would not dare to attack our country,” Poland’s deputy prime minister and defense minister Mariusz Błaszczak said while announcing the decision.
“In order for it to be consistent, since 2015, when Law and Justice took over power when Mr. Andrzej Duda became the president of the Republic of Poland, we have been strengthening the Polish armed forces, forming new military units – often in places where these units were disbanded in previous years.”
Includes Four Armor, One Artillery Brigade
The 1st Legions will be the fifth division of the Polish Army, comprising four brigades, each with four mechanized and one artillery battalion.
The division’s mechanized brigades will be armed with the K2 Black Panther and Abrams main battle tanks, while the artillery unit will be equipped with K9 and Krab howitzers.
The unit will also have the Gladius unmanned aerial reconnaissance and strike systems, which Warsaw bought from Polish WB Group in May for $500 million.
Poland Strengthens Armed Forces
Poland enacted the Law on the Defense of the Homeland on April 23, 2022, two months after Russia invaded Ukraine.
The law enables the government to strengthen the country’s armed forces by increasing defense spending and expanding the army’s size by loosening recruitment criteria and voluntary service.
The Polish Army currently has 164,000 soldiers. An estimated 16,000 volunteers applied to join the service in 2022.