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Monday, 22 July 2013

President signs bill changing army's command system into law

Poland's President Bronislaw Komorowski on Monday signed into law a bill foreseeing a change of the command system and reduction of the number of top-level commands in the Polish Armed Forces.


"Armies undergo constant changes that result from new challenges, experiences and requirements. The army changes either through war experience or through the decisions of the superiors, the commanders, to be a better, more efficient tool for the times of war or other crisis," President Komorowski said.


The main goal of the new law is to harmonise the military structures in time of war or crisis and during peace so that there would be no need to change them in time of a crisis situation. The document also allows the president to indicate, at a motion from the PM, the person who is to prepare for the role of commander-in-chief in time of war.


In place of currently functioning separate commands of respective armed forces (Land Force, Air Force, Navy and Special Forces), the law introduces two commands - the General Command of the Armed Forces responsible for preparing the army for operations and its functioning in time of peace and the Operational Command of the Armed Forces taking over command in time of crises, war, and, as is the case now, over forces dedicated to foreign missions.


The amendment also foresees a change of the role of the General Staff. Currently, the defence minister directs the armed forces via the Chief of the General Staff. After the reform, the General Staff is to focus on strategic planning, drafting long-term development programmes for the armed forces and on advising the MoD, the PM and the President. Head of General Staff and two supreme commanders will be directly subordinate to the Defence Ministry.


The changes will go into effect in 2014.


The reform will adapt the command structures to the profound changes that had taken place in the armed forces through making them professional and limiting their size, according to Bronislaw Komorowski.


Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak recalled that the work on the reform had been started when Bronislaw Komorowski had himself held the post of defence minister.


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