Polish President Andrzej Duda inspected the Polish Armed Forces at the Central Air Force Training Range near the northern town of Ustka on Saturday, as Poland’s largest joint military exercise with NATO troops, known as Anaconda 23, took place.
The Polish leader stressed the importance of security in the face of “unprecedented times” and the proximity of war. He called for the public to remain calm and stated that the authorities are drawing the proper conclusions from security challenges.
“The time we are dealing with is unprecedented. War has never been so close to us. It creates many difficult situations, including provocations,” Duda said at the training ground.
He expressed his satisfaction with the modernization of the Polish army and the acquisition of equipment, and highlighted the ongoing work to implement an air defense system that had been “neglected for many decades.”
Duda also emphasized the importance of self-sufficiency regarding Poland’s missile defense while acknowledging the support of allies.
“We are currently building the country’s air defense system. This is work that has unfortunately been overlooked for many decades. We have been implementing them calmly and decisively for eight years,” he told those in attendance.
“Thanks to this, we will be armed in such a way that no one will dare to attack us. Poland will be safe,” he added.
Anaconda 23 involves around 13,000 Polish soldiers and several hundred NATO and partner country military personnel. The exercise aims to integrate the capabilities of the Polish Armed Forces with allied and non-military systems and to test interoperability to better respond to threats in the Baltic Sea region.
On May 13, the main element of the Anaconda 23 exercise involved the Polish air force, land forces, and the navy carrying out joint tasks. This included coordinated fire support using, among others, the Krab and K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzer guns, the WR-40 Langusta missile launchers, F-16 jets, Mi-14PŁ helicopters, and Bayraktar TB2 drones.