Polish 'Blue Brigade' goes on international exercises

Over 1,000 soldiers from Poland's 12th Mechanised Brigade will shortly go to Germany for the international Allied Spirit VIII exercises. The 'Blue Brigade' will send mostly logistics specialists and sappers who will take with them several hundred specialist vehicles.

In addition to Polish forces, American, British, Italian and Danish soldiers will take part in the Allied Spirit VIII exercises. The troops will work on perfecting NATO interoperability as well as readiness for combat functions, planning capacity, command and control, and carrying out logistical security. "The main aim of the command-and-staff exercises with combat elements is strengthening cooperation with other NATO armies," 12th Mechanised Brigade press officer Lieutenant Bartlomiej Kulesza told PAP on Friday, adding that it is the Blue Brigade's first major exercise of the year. 

"12th Brigade will showcase elements of the command battalion, logistics battalion, the 2nd Stargard Sappers battalion, an anti-aircraft division and elements assigned to 12th Brigade, namely, among others, the 5th engineering regiment. In all, there will be more than 1,000 soldiers and several hundred specialist vehicles. Other combat elements used during the exercises will come mainly from alliance countries," Kulesza said.

On Saturday, loading of more than 60 specialist vehicles onto a rail platform will commence at Stobno Szczecinskie (northwestern Poland). Further military transports will travel to Hohenfels, Bavaria, in the coming days. Soldiers of 12th Brigade will return to barracks on February 5, following the exercises, Kulesza said.