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Dragon-24: The most important exercise of the Polish Army this year

On Monday, February 26th, the Polish exercise Dragon-24 commenced, which is part of the international exercise Steadfast Defender-24 led by NATO.

In the first half of 2024, NATO is conducting a series of exercises under the common codename Steadfast Defender-24 (STDE-24). Approximately 90,000 soldiers from all NATO member states as well as Sweden are participating in the exercises, primarily taking place in Central Europe. The exercises are aimed at assessing the Alliance’s ability to deter and defend, including the capability to repel a potential attack by adversaries on NATO member states.

Image: Ministry Of National Defense

As part of the STDE-24 exercises, Poland plays the role of one of the host nations and will host a significant number of allied soldiers and equipment on its territory. A key component of STDE-24 will be the Polish national exercise involving armed forces from other countries, Dragon-24 (DR-24), which commenced on February 26th of this year.

The largest NATO exercises since the end of the Cold War are underway. Their codename, “Steadfast Defender 24”, (…) Indeed, they are a clear signal of the Alliance members’ readiness for collective defense. Approximately 90,000 soldiers from all NATO member states and Sweden are participating in the exercises, primarily taking place in Central Europe. We will be testing the alliance’s capabilities for deterrence and defense, including repelling a potential aggressor’s attack on NATO member states. The Polish segment of the exercises, involving armed forces from other countries under the codename ‘Dragon 24,’ has commenced today. It is a crucial part of the entire exercise constellation. Poland serves as one of the host nations and hosts a significant number of allied soldiers and equipment on its territory. (…) NATO sends a clear signal that it is ready for deterrence and defense. Cooperation among our countries within the strongest security alliance guarantees the development and security of the Poland, emphasized Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz.

STDE-24 and DR-24 are defensive exercises and are not directed against any specific country, but rather demonstrate NATO’s capability to counter aggressive policies and provocative activities of the Russian Federation. Their planning began as early as 2022.

Exercises within Steadfast Defender-24, including national exercises involving armed forces from other countries, such as Dragon-24, as well as exercises organized by the United States European Command (EUCOM) known as Defender-24, represent the largest display of defensive capabilities by the Alliance and its member states since 1999, or the so-called first wave of NATO enlargement, which included Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary.

Soldiers, including those from the Military Transport Command in Wrocław and the 2nd Oleśnica Traffic Regulation Company, are responsible for ensuring the smooth movement of allied forces during the #DRAGON24 exercise on the territory of the Republic of Poland.

The DR-24 exercise will serve as a test of the capabilities of the Polish Armed Forces to respond to a potential multidimensional armed crisis, thus contributing to strengthening the Alliance’s deterrence and defense potential and demonstrating the strength and determination arising from its unity.

In the DR-24 exercise, a total of approximately 20,000 soldiers and 3,500 pieces of equipment from 8 NATO countries are involved, including about 15,000 soldiers from the Polish Armed Forces. They will undergo testing of cooperation and execution of combat tasks on land, in the air, and at sea. In addition to military operations in the mentioned domains, military actions in cyberspace will also be conducted.

Alongside the #Dragon24 exercises in Poland and Germany, NATO exercises under the codename #BrilliantJump24 are also ongoing as part of #SteadfastDefender2024, involving 3000 military personnel. Poland has delegated the 1st Tank Battalion from @1WBPanc to these maneuvers, which this year holds duty at #NATO spearhead #VJTF. At the training ground in Drawsko, participants practice the cooperation of troops, after which they will be assigned to @11LDKPancej and join the Dragon-24 exercises.

The main forces participating in the exercise are provided by the Land Forces, primarily the 11th Armored Cavalry Division, but also involved are soldiers from the Special Forces, Air Force, Navy, and Territorial Defense Forces.

This undertaking also includes elements of allied forces present in Poland, including NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) battle group. DR-24 also involves elements of the non-military part of the country’s defense system, ranging from local government administration at the provincial, county, and municipal levels to central government administration.

At the Drawsko Pomorskie training ground 🇵🇱, #BrilliantJump24 is underway. Soldiers from the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) known as the “spearhead” of NATO are training. The next stage for #VJTF will be participating in the #Dragon24 exercise, where these forces will be subordinated to the commander of the 11th Armored Cavalry Division.

Fundamentally, the exercise is divided into two phases. During the first phase, actions will be conducted in the context of a crisis situation, while in the second phase, they will be carried out as part of a defensive operation. Soldiers will perform tasks on training ground as well as in so-called “suitable terrain”. Key elements will include the crossing of allied forces over the Vistula River and the movement of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), which will serve as a link between DR-24 and the Brilliant Jump-24 exercise. This will involve, among other things, both wheeled and tracked military vehicles moving on public roads throughout the territory of the Republic of Poland.

The #SteadfastDefender exercises, in which Poland is now playing the role of host, are a clear signal of readiness for collective defense. On our territory, within DRAGON24, numerous allied units and equipment will be exercising. This is a unique opportunity to emphasize our cooperation and solidarity.

Informacja prasowa

Źródło: Ministerstwo Obrony Narodowej


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