Today marks the 105th anniversary of the establishment of the Polish Navy under a decree issued by Marshal Jozef Pilsudski. Since that time, that is, since November 28, 1918, the Polish Navy has been continuously performing its service to protect and defend our maritime border1.
For all Poles, this symbolic date is also associated with the restoration of Poland’s independence and the then gradual restoration of the Polish Armed Forces. The Navy was structured just 17 days after the Republic of Poland became a free state. It should be noted that it was not until almost a year and a half later that our country gained access to the Baltic Sea. Since 1999, when Poland became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Navy ships have participated in all naval maneuvers in the Baltic Sea organized by NATO. It is worth noting that they also actively participated in numerous operations in the Danish Straits, the Mediterranean, North and Norwegian Seas and the Atlantic Ocean. It is necessary to recall the involvement of Polish naval forces in the Persian Gulf in 2002-2003 during the intervention of NATO forces in Iraq. Since then, the Polish Navy has been a continuously important part of the North Atlantic Alliance Response Force (NATO Response Force)2.
Ceremonial events to commemorate the 105th anniversary of the restoration of the Polish Navy’s combat capability were held, among others, at the Memorial Quarters at the Navy cemetery in Gdynia3 and at the Navy Port in Swinoujscie4.
“The most important task of the Navy remains to operate in the Baltic Sea for the defense of the State, as well as its economic security. Briefly defining it as representing the interests of the country (…) Therefore, in recent times we have been increasing the potential by implementing further armament programs, such as: “Kormoran”, “Swordfish”, “Dolphin”. These are programs to modernize the Polish fleet. Obsolete equipment is being replaced by ships of the latest generation, new capabilities are being introduced, such as the Navy has never had before.” – announced during the roll call the Commander of the 8th Coastal Defense Flotilla, Rear Admiral Piotr Sikora5.
The activities of the Navy focused on strictly defined tasks, the primary goal of which is to ensure the security of Polish interests at sea, as well as international cooperation within the framework of agreements concluded with the EU and NATO. Extremely important is biplanar cooperation concerning both national and allied maritime operations, such as the protection of maritime communication routes, especially those through which strategic raw materials and goods are transported, monitoring the safety of shipping, peacekeeping operations, combating terrorism and early detection of symptoms of threats from the sea. The functioning of the Navy of the Republic of Poland is aimed at the defense system of the state and its economic security, including: maintaining readiness to respond to threats that may occur in territorial waters, as well as in the exclusive economic zone, the implementation of ecological monitoring of the Baltic waters, supporting the removal of the consequences of natural disasters, disposal of mines and unexploded ordnance lying on the bottom of the Baltic Sea6. In the organizational structures of this type of armed forces, there is also a Navy aviation tactical compound – the Gdynia Naval Aviation Brigade named after kmdr. Lt. Pil. Karol Trzaska-Durski – which consists of: Naval Aviation Brigade Headquarters, the 43rd Naval Aviation Base in Gdynia and the 44th Naval Aviation Base in Siemirowice and Darlowice. It is at the 44th Naval Aviation Base in Darlowo that the Search and Rescue (SAR) system operates, undertaking rescue operations to find people in distress, provide them with assistance and deliver them to a safe place using helicopters7.
Photo: Staff Sgt. Maj. Arkadiusz Dwulatek, Operational Command of the Armed Forces, online – https://twitter.com/DowOperSZ/status/1729411433941639638/photo/1 [accessed: 28.11.2023].
Tekst powstał w ramach realizacji zadania publicznego zleconego w ramach Rządowego Programu Rozwoju Organizacji Obywatelskich na lata 2018–2030 r. „Bezpieczna Polska jutra – rozwój działań misyjnych Alioth Foundation”.