The Minister of National Defense stressed that the basic task of the Polish Armed Forces is to defend our homeland, but Poland also has allied commitments resulting from our membership in NATO and the European Union.
The head of the Ministry of Defense said farewell to the soldiers of the Polish Military Contingent EU SOPHIA (PMC EU SOPHIA)- going to Sicily. The ceremony took place on February 12, 2018 at the airport of the 44th Naval Aviation Base in Siemirowice.
- It is very important for the Polish Army to participate in this mission, so that we jointly resolve this conflict, because there is no doubt that the migration crisis is the basis of the conflict that brings a bloody harvest in Europe - he said.
The head of the Ministry of Defense reminded that so far the Polish Border Guard, still present on the Macedonian-Serbian border, was involved in similar activities. - This is a mission that shows our solidarity with our partners from the EU and which will bring us positive results, because it increases security - he said.
Minister Mariusz Blaszczak pointed out that the PMC begins its mission in the year of centenary of regaining by Poland its independence. - Be proud of our history and very clearly and unequivocally correct all the untrue information that pertain to Poland, which resulted primarily from ignorance and, to a lesser extent, from ill will - appealed the head of the Defense Ministry.
The main tasks of the PMC EU SOPHIA are aimed at limiting illegal smuggling of people and goods to Europe and supporting the Libyan naval security forces in training and implementing measures to reduce illegal immigration. EU SOPHIA operation mandate tasks the contingent will carry out from the Sigonella NATO base, located in Sicily, 15 km west of Catania.
The Polish Naval Aviation Brigade carries out the task of forming the Polish Military Contingent as part of the EUNAVFOR MED military operation of the European Union.
The PMC EU SOPHIA has 100 soldiers mostly by Polish Naval Aviation Brigade. The PMC also includes soldiers from: Special Forces Component Command, 3rd Ship Fleet, 6th Radioelectronics Center, Support Inspectorate, 10th Logistic Brigade, 9th Command Support Brigade, Military Police.
The basic asset of the contingent will be the patrol-reconnaissance aircraft M28B 1R ‘Bryza’ from the 44th Naval Aviation Base. In the first place, aircraft No. 1017, called unofficially "White Lady", will be used. In 2003, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic and the participation of the crew from the 44th Naval Aviation Base in international air show "Royal Air Tatoo", the plane gained occasional painting, referring to Wellington's historical colors from the 304th Bomb Squadron of the "Silesian Land". The traditions of this unit are cultivated by the 44.NAB. The 1017 aircraft underwent modernization in 2015, as a result of which she gained a TACAN system receiver, a central refueling point and Hertzel five-blade propellers. The elements of the ARS-400 radar were also modernized.
Preparation of the PKW EU SOPHIA