Country Listing

Poland Table of Contents



Armed Forces: Polish Army (until 1990 Polish People's Army) divided into ground forces, navy, air and air defense forces, and territorial defense forces. Ground forces conscription for eighteen months, navy and air force two years. Mid-1992 total active-duty strength 296,500. Of 194,200 army personnel, 109,800 conscripts; of 83,000 air force personnel, 47,000 conscripts; of 19,300 navy personnel, 10,600 conscripts. Estimated 435,000 reservists. Territorial defense forces assigned as regional defense forces in case of invasion, reduced in size and role in early 1990s.

Major Military Units: Administered in four military districts, including Kraków district newly formed 1992. Major restructuring and streamlining undertaken 1990; in 1992 configuration, Pomeranian district had three mechanized divisions and a coastal defense unit, Silesian district four mechanized divisions, Warsaw district two mechanized divisions, and Kraków two mechanized divisions (projected). Navy operated three submarines, one destroyer, and one frigate. Air force operated 423 combat aircraft, 31 attack helicopters, in two air divisions. Substantial reliance on Soviet heavy equipment remaining from Warsaw Pact era; increasing domestic production of light equipment, early 1990s.

Military Budget: Major cuts 1989-92 during reassessment of doctrine and strategy. 1991 budget 16 trillion zloty. Equipment purchase reduced by high allotment for personnel maintenance in 1991 budget.

Internal Security Forces: Restructured and under civilian control after 1989. Office of State Protection, main state security agency after 1990, stripped of independent surveillance power but still object of public suspicion. Role of militia riot control substantially reduced. Regular police upgraded, retrained, and reequipped. Border Guard streamlined, retrained for customs work and prevention of illegal entry.

Data as of October 1992