Mateusz Morawiecki, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, and Mariusz Baszczak, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense, met with Abrams tank crews and soldiers from the Land Forces Training Center on December 23, 2022, in Biedrusko, Poland.
As part of the “Abrams Academy,” around 100 soldiers and technicians received training at the Land Forces Training Center. Next year, they will be responsible for taking over the smooth operation of Abrams tanks for the Polish Armed Forces’ equipment.
The 1st Warsaw Armored Brigade, part of the 2018-formed 18th Mechanized Division, or “Iron Division,” will be the home of these tanks. It was set up on the same site where the PO-PSL alliance disbanded the 1st Warsaw Mechanized Division (Tadeusz Kosciuszko Division) in 2011.
“We let everyone know about our choice in July last year. The settlement was to buy 250 cutting-edge Abrams tanks and equip the Polish ground troops with them. This year, in August, the “Abrams Academy” began operations in the Land Forces Training Center on the Biedrusko training grounds. Training sessions have started. Poland’s military crews and technicians are currently undergoing training to operate the world’s most cutting-edge tanks”, said the Ministry of National Defense during a meeting with Polish soldiers.
The Polish Army will acquire its first used Abrams tank the following year. Ultimately, the Polish land forces will be equipped with 366 Abrams tanks, including 250 of the most recent generation, the President of the Polish Ministry of National Defense stated during a meeting with Polish soldiers.
The Minister of National Defense inked an agreement in April to purchase 250 ABRAMS M1A2 SEPv3 tanks, as well as M88A2 Hercules vehicles, M1074 Joint Assault Bridges, training and logistics packages, and ammunition. The deal is worth $4.75 billion. We anticipate completing all shipments by the end of 2026.
The 18th Mechanized Division is the primary recipient of these Abrams tanks. Over 150 American soldiers participated in training that year at the so-called Abrams Academy. These people are the direct users of the equipment and include technical staff, instructors, and crews. American forces contributed trainers to the effort. The 2023 school year will be the next one for Abrams Academy.
The objective of Abrams tanks with Polish soldiers is to defend the eastern portion of our nation, so that no enemy would dare attack Poland. The head of the Ministry of National Defense stated that this is the most effective technique of deterring the aggressor, given the growing number of personnel in the Polish Armed Forces and the creation of new military divisions and new tactical units, such as the well-equipped 18th “Iron” Division.
Besides the 250 ABRAMS SEPv3 tanks that were approved by the US Congress, Poland will also receive 116 ABRAMS tanks in their earlier version, the M1A1, along with a communication and battlefield management system that is compatible with the Abrams M1A2 SEPv3 tanks that were purchased. Due to the ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine and the transfer of armament supplied by Poland, the United States has donated additional tanks in an effort to restore the fighting capability of military equipment and expand the combat capabilities of the land forces.
While visiting the Biedrusko training facility, the Deputy Prime Minister stressed the excellent state of collaboration between the Polish and American land forces.
The U.S. Army’s V Corps has a permanent base in Poland. The Abrams Academy, where Polish tankers and technicians learn to operate the world’s most advanced tanks, was founded on the basis of this cooperation, the Deputy Prime Minister said.
The Polish Armed Forces are continually strengthened. The 18th Division will have Abrams the following year. The 16th Mechanized Division, which is responsible for securing the northeastern region of our country, is already armed with Korean K2 tanks.
To dissuade the attacker and demonstrate that Poland is secure, all units of the Polish Army are and will continue to be outfitted with cutting-edge weaponry. On the international stage, Poland’s standing is growing. All of them are results of the Polish government’s initiatives.
M. Blaszczak stated that since 2015, the President of the Republic of Poland, Mr. Andrzej Duda, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and the Polish government have been consistently strengthening Poland’s position on the international stage by strengthening the Polish Armed Forces, by strengthening units and equipping them with modern weapons.
During the conference in Biedrusko, held the day before Christmas, Deputy Prime Minister Mariusz Baszczak honored the soldiers for their everyday duty both domestically and internationally.
In addition, we are nearing the end of the year, so we will recap all that has transpired over the past 12 months. It was full with difficulties. Russia has invaded Ukraine, declared the Deputy Prime Minister, creating a war on our eastern border.
During the discussion, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki stated that we cannot skimp on the armed forces; rather, we must make enormous efforts – which we are doing – so that the Polish military will soon be the strongest in Europe.
Today, along with Prime Minister Baszczak, we are touring a unit that already houses Abrams, the world’s most advanced tanks. “Abrams is unrivaled on the battlefield and will have significant potential to discourage our prospective foes,” said the Prime Minister, who also highlighted that the army’s financial foundation must be strong.
We are able to make these purchases on an unprecedented scale due to the restoration of public finances. Prime Minister reiterated that these are also monies from the National Reconstruction Plan that will be invested in Poland, have an impact on the taxes and salaries of Polish workers, and increase the country’s defense capability.
The Abrams tanks acquired by Poland are identical to those used by the United States armed forces; they are modern, compatible with US equipment, meet all current NATO requirements and standards, and are outfitted with the most up-to-date communication, vehicle positioning, and combat management systems, allowing users at all levels of command to visualize the combat environment.
The Land Forces Training Center in Biedrusko is directly subject to the Armed Forces’ General Commander. Its primary mission is the education, training, and professional development of troops in accordance with the needs of the Polish Armed Forces as well as the requirements, conclusions, and lessons learned from the execution of tasks in the national, allied, and worldwide systems.
MBT K2 Black Panther Korea
Previously, Poland had placed an order with South Korea for 1,000 K2 Black Panther main battle tanks and 672 K9A1 Thunder howitzers.
On December 9, 2022, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Defense Mariusz Blaszczak went to the city of Morg in northern Poland. There, soldiers of the 20th Mechanized Brigade got their first shipment of Korean K2 Black Panther main battle tanks.
With the delivery of these tanks came the initial shipment of ammunition and spare components. According to the Polish Ministry of Defense website, which was accessed on 9/12/2022, Polish soldiers who will be part of the crew of the K2 tank are being trained in South Korea at the same time.
South Korea manufactures the K2 Black Panther, a third-generation battle tank. The primary weapon is an autoloading 120 mm smoothbore cannon. The K2 gun is capable of using modern ammo types.
“One of the most contemporary tanks is the K2,” designed and manufactured in the twenty-first century. This tank is quite promising. in terms of both fighting skills and construction. We employ South Korea’s most successful practices. We are delighted that, in such a short period of time, we have strengthened the Polish Armed Forces, specifically the 16th Mechanized Division, as stated by Polish Vice Prime Minister Baszczak.
“We are bolstering the Polish Armed Forces because the safety of our homeland is our top priority.” In this action, we are consistent. In his speech, the Chief of the Polish Ministry of National Defense stated, “I am very pleased that in such a short period of time we have achieved success in the form of the rapid arrival of high-quality military equipment in Poland, which is now in the hands of the Polish army—a great and experienced army able to defend our country effectively.”
Before this, Poland had signed a framework agreement with Hyundai Rotem for the purchase of a total of 1,000 K2 tanks and the vehicles that go with them, such as technical support vehicles, bridge vehicles, and other parts based on Polish ideas. Hyundai Rotem would also provide training packages, ammunition, and technical support.
In addition, the self-propelled K9A1 howitzer will shortly be incorporated into the Polish Armed Forces’ arsenal. The Hanwha Defense collaborative framework deal includes the acquisition of 672 K9A1 155mm self-propelled howitzers and the Polish development version of the K9PL, as well as their supporting vehicles, a training and logistical package, ammunition supply, and manufacturer technical support.
*Cover image: doc. MBT Abrams (@US Army, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Capt. Shaun Manley).