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Territorial Defence Forces – 660 Hours of Flight Time Performed By The Unmanned Airborne Vehicles Over The Border Zone

Within three months of the operation codenamed Strong Support, a Group of Imaging Reconnaissance of the Territorial Defence Forces carried out 660 flight hours of the FlyEye 3.0 UAVs.

At the beginning of December this year, the Press Team of the Command of the Territorial Defence Forces (DWOT) informed, that within three months of the ongoing Operation Strong Support in the Podlasie and Lublin provinces, the Group of Imaging Reconnaissance Territorial Defence Forces (WOT) have performed 660 flight hours of the mini class FlyEye 3.0 UAVs. Locate – isolate – secure – pass over, these activities were aimed at supporting the Border Guard (SG), and strengthening the resilience of local communities in a border area for hybrid threats.

In the monitoring of the situation on the border with Belarus, the Flyeye 3.0 operators are involved from the WOT imaging reconnaissance groups. The plane has 3.6 m of wing spans, 1.6 m of length and a 12 kg weight, thanks to composite structure. Propelled by a single electric motor, it accelerates to 60-120 kph, to a ceiling up to 3,500 metres, and has a range of up to 300 km, when control and steering station is on the move as well. The UAV can be remain in the air for a maximum of 2.5 hours. The set consists of four UAVs, wireless station, control and steering station plus backpacks and containers / photos: WOT

The Operation Strong Support began on 3 September, and is conducted in a border area in the Podlasie and Lubelin provinces. The actions are being performed by the brigades relevant to the area of operations, or the 1st Podlasie Brigade WOT named after Maj. Gen Władysław Liniarski, Mścisław (1. PBOT) and the 2nd Lublin Brigade WOT named after Maj. Hieronim Dekutowski, Zapora (2. LBOT), and are supported by specialised troops of other WOT brigades in many tasks. Their presence allows to increase the potential for the use of specialised equipment which WOT possesses, and ensures rotation of the troops (Polish Territorial Defense Force train with US & UK troops).

The WOT’s scale of involvement increases as the distance from the Polish-Belarusian border line rises. Activities with the highest intensity are carried out in a border zone. 24 hours a day, for 7 days a week, the WOT perform several dozen patrols, and they man various check points and observation posts. Waterborne patrols are conducted on the Bug River, in turn, a hard-to-reach areas over the swamps and marshy ground are being monitored by mounted horse patrols. Since the beginning of the operation, the WOT soldiers have detained nearly 1,000 people, mainly immigrants, who illegally crossed the border, as well as the couriers. The detained are passed to Border Guard immediately (FlyEye for Territorials).

Where the SG officers or WOT troops can not conduct direct observations, the FlyEye 3.0 UAVs are extensively used. The imaging reconnaissance groups ensure continuous supervision of the situation in the border area and in the immediate vicinity of the border on the Belarusian side. The images from UAVs makes possible to locate very accurately of the immigrants’ approach routes, their activity, including preparing for the illegal passage across the border. The UAVs carried out 660 hours of flight time, thus enabling the SG and operational troops to prepare appropriate reaction. In readiness for action there is also a Search and Sescue Group K9 WOT with rescue dogs trained to search for missing people.

Tasks of soldiers 2. LBOT focuses primarily on the support of the Nadbużanski Border Guard Department. This support is of particular importance in the area of ​​utilization of specialist equipment, such as flat-bottom patrol boats, the aforementioned FlyEye 3.0 UAVs or lighting masts. In Operation Strong Support in the Lublin Province also oter WOT troops are involved, who have arrived from other regions, including Podkarpacie, Mazovia, from the Łodź and Świętokrzyskie provinces.

The WOT troops also operate as part of Support Assessment Teams whose task is to monitor the situation in the villages in the border zone affected with restrictions,and responding to the needs of local authorities and residents. In the WOT HQ, in a 24/7 mode, a telephone support line for people from border areas operates. Almost 500 people took advantage of this option.

As part of Operation Strong Support, the urban and communal employees from the border area were trained the principles of ICT security. Consulting and training in this area runs a Team of Cyberspace Operations of the WOT HQ.

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