JW Komandosów

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Jednostka Wojskowa Komandosów
JWK oznk rozp (2014) mund-w.gif
Unit insignia as of 2014
Active 1961 – present
Country  Poland
Allegiance Centrum Operacji Specjalnych
Branch Wojska Specjalne
Type Special Operations Forces
Role Special Operations
Size Over 300 personnel (estimated)
JW4101 Lubliniec
Nickname "The Regiment"
Motto Secreti ac Efficaces (Silent and Effective)
Colors Red, Black
Engagements Operation Enduring Freedom
Kosovo Conflict
Iraq War
ISAF
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
Website http://cisiiskuteczni.pl/
Commanders
Commander Płk. Wiesław Kukuła
Insignia
Abbreviation JWK

The Jednostka Wojskowa Komandosów, commonly called JWK and formerly known as 1 Pułk Specjalny Komandosów (1PSK), is one of six special forces units currently operating within Poland's Centrum Operacji Specjalnych - Dowództwo Komponentu Wojsk Specjalnych (COS - DKWS, en. Special Operations Center - Special Forces Component Command). JWK was formed in 1961 and is the oldest Polish special operations unit. The unit is located in Lubliniec, Poland.

Mission[edit]

Thanks to the unit's high recruitment standards, and a special training program the Regiment implemented several years ago, the unit's soldiers display a very high level of skills and professionalism and are trained to undertake a wide range of special missions during war, crisis and peace time.[1]

Along with being trained and competent in urban warfare, underwater warfare and mountain warfare, JWK personnel are able to carry out operations by land, air (including HALO and HAHO operations) or sea. In addition, JWK also possesses JTAC-qualified personnel.

It is worth noting that out of the 1800 worldwide, in JWK currently serve the only Polish soldiers having ever graduated from the grueling U.S. Special Operations Combat Medic Course (SOCM) at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.[2]

History[edit]

The unit was established in 1961 under the name 26 Batalion Dywersyjno – Rozpoznawczy (en. 26th Sabotage-Reconnaissance Battalion), prior to being changed to 1 Samodzielny Batalion Szturmowy (en. 1st Detached Assault Battalion) in 1964.

On October 8, 1993, following an executive order from the Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces, the unit transitioned from a battalion to a regiment, which lead to the its renaming to 1 Pułk Specjalny (en. 1st Special Regiment) before being changed to 1 Pułk Specjalny Komandosów (en. 1st Special Commando Regiment) in 1995. Even though the unit's name did not receive its "Commando" (Komandosow) moniker until 1995, it officially became a Special Operations Forces unit of the Polish Armed Forces following the 1993 executive order; making at the time 1 Pułk Specjalny the only unit subordinated to the command of the Land Forces branch of the Polish Army while at the same time operating as a Special Forces unit.

After twelve years under the command of the Polish Land Forces, the unit transitioned to the Polish Special Forces Command (pl. Dowództwo Wojsk Specjalnych) along with all other Polish Special Forces units when it was formed in 2007.

Finally in 2011 (October 1) for its 50th anniversary, the unit was renamed Jednostka Wojskowa Komandosów which at present is its current name. Within Poland's Armed Forces organization, the unit is referred to by its code number JW4101.

Current organization[edit]

JWK is currently operating under the command of Płk. (Col.) Wiesław Kukuła.[3] The unit operates with a combat structure comparable to that of the Australian 22nd Special Air Service Regiment and is composed of three combat squadrons (with a fourth to be set up by 2016), or combat teams (pl. Zespoł Bojowy); respectively ZB A, ZB B, and ZB C.

Each of these teams carry the traditions of Polish units from World War II.[4] ZB A inherits its traditions from Batalion Miotła,[5] while ZB B inherits theirs from the No. 6 Polish Troop of the No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando and ZB C inherits theirs from Batalion Parasol. It should also be noted that the Sub-Command and Security element of the unit also carries traditions from World War II, which are those of Batalion Zośka from the Polish Home Army resistance movement.

The operational structure of the unit is as follows:

  • Command
    • Staff
    • Combat Teams ZB A, ZB B, ZB C
    • Information and Support Squadron
    • Sub-Command and Security

While the actual size of the Regiment has never been publicly acknowledged, it is estimated that the unit currently operates with over 300 personnel.

Along with all other Polish Special Forces units, JWK is currently subordinated to the Centrum Operacji Specjalnych - Dowództwo Komponentu Wojsk Specjalnych (COS-DKWS, en. Special Operations Center - Special Forces Component Command); which itself is subordinated to the Polish Armed Forces Operational Command (pl. Dowódcy Operacyjnemu Rodzajów Sił Zbrojnych).[6]

Recruitment[edit]

Candidates wanting to serve in the Regiment must first successfully undertake a basic military training course. They then move on to a three-month “Junior Specialist” training course. During this phase recruits receive training in close combat, hand to hand combat, fighting with specialised equipment, parachuting, land navigation, weapons handling, basic survival, and several other military-related skills. Troops who successfully complete the second phase then move onto the unit, where they are assigned to Zespół Bojowy. Once there, additional training continues (mountain and cold weather training, sniper, Casevac, amphibious operations, etc.). Volunteering soldiers from the unit can receive advanced training in allied countries, most notably the U.S. Army Ranger course.

Recent operations[edit]

The regiment has been quite active over the last few years. In 2003 troops being deployed to support NATO operations in the Republic of Macedonia during the Kosovo conflict. A 13-man detachment was deployed to Afghanistan as part of Polish support for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). In 2006, had charge of protecting the Polski Kontyngent Wojskowy (Polish Military Contingent) in Pakistan which helps in technical rescue after the Pakistan earthquake. Till 2008 the unit had deployed a 56-man company to Iraq (Iraq War), as part of the Multinational Division Central-South in Diwaniyah. Soldiers fought together with the 5th SFG ODA. Soldiers of 1 PSK was fighting, led special operations in Kandahar Province and other Afghan provinces. Since 2010 JWK compound formed ISAF SOF Task Force 50 which perform special operations like capturing JPEL's, Special Reconnaissance, FID. TF-50 soldiers are operating in Ghazni Province and Paktika (War in Afghanistan).

Uniform[edit]

Like all units subordinated to COS-DKWS, JWK personnel wear a MultiCam or Suez (Poland's own version of MultiCam developed around 2007, no longer issued and currently being phased out) uniform while in garrison. For various reasons, they may also wear civilian clothing. Soldiers may also wear a distinctive black beret with a badge depicting the Eagle of the Polish Special Forces, though it is not mandatory except for a formal ceremony or with the dress uniform. Apart from Command personnel, all other personnel wear uniforms and berets that bear no name or rank so as to conceal and protect their identities. Civilian haircuts and facial hairs are authorized to help soldiers blend-in with the rest of the population. Every soldier serving in a combat capacity within the unit has a nickname used to refer to him when in a public environment.

Unit insignia[edit]

Continuing with its tradition of honoring and remembering Poland's legacy from World War II, JWK unveiled its new insignia on December 30, 2013 with the formal debut being January 1, 2014. The unit described it as a "combination of tradition and modernity", with the insignia referring to the legacy of the Polish Home Army, while at the same time bringing in modernity by incorporating the distinctive symbols of Special Operations Forces.

The anchor, known as Kotwica, refers to the "Poland Fighting" symbol of the Polish resistance movement from World War II, which was present on the insignia of Batalion Miotła (current insignia of JWK's Combat Team A), Batalion Parasol (current insignia of JWK's Combat Team C) and Batalion Zośka (current insignia of JWK's Sub-Command and Security element); the three reconnaissance battalions from the Polish Home Army.

Incorporated in the "Kotwica" anchor is a dagger, a worldwide-recognizable symbol of the Special Operations Forces and also a nod to the unit's previous insignias both as 1PSK and as JWK.

The red color of the emblem refers to the color of No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando unit from World War II and its No. 6 Polish Troop also known as the 1st Independent Company, whose Combined Operations recognition badge serves as the current insignia for JWK's Combat Team B. The black background of the unit's insignia is a nod to the official color of the Polish Special Forces.[7]

Squadrons insignias[edit]

All three combat squadrons as well as the Sub-Command and Security element of the unit have their own insignias, all carrying on Poland's legacy from World War II.

  • Zespoł Bojowy A (Combat Team A): insignia of the Batalion Miotła from the Polish Home Army
  • Zespoł Bojowy B (Combat Team B): Combined Operations insignia of the No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando unit and its No. 6 Polish Troop
  • Zespoł Bojowy C (Combat Team C): insignia of the Batalion Parasol from the Polish Home Army
  • Sub-Command and Security Element: insignia of the Batalion Zośka from the Polish Home Army

Weapons[edit]

Weapons in use within JWK as of mid-2014.

Assault rifle[edit]

Pistols[edit]

Submachine guns[edit]

Shotgun[edit]

Sniper rifles[edit]

Machine gun[edit]

RPG[edit]

Grenade launcher[edit]

40mm grenade launcher system[edit]

Unmanned aerial vehicle[edit]

Unit Commanders since 1993[8][edit]

  • ppłk dypl. Zbigniew Kwintal 1993 - 19.7.1999
  • ppłk dypl. Bogdan Kołtuński 19.7.1999 - 24.2.2003
  • ppłk dypl. Wojciech Jania 24.2.2003 - 15.9.2005
  • płk Piotr Patalong 15.9.2005 - 7.11.2006
  • płk Dariusz Dachowicz 7.11.2006 - 16.2.2010
  • płk Ryszard Pietras 16.2.2010 - 5.9.2012
  • ppłk Sławomir Drumowicz 5.9.2012 - 26.11.2012
  • płk Wiesław Kukuła 26.11.2012–present

Losses[edit]

Since its inception the unit has lost eleven members has a result of active military duty.[9]

  • sierż. Piotr Łosiak (February 16, 1995)
  • st. szer. Tomasz Przybylski (March 14, 1998)
  • kpt. Paweł Urlik (December 9, 1998)
  • plut. Artur Kuchta (September 11, 1999)
  • mjr Stanisław Musiejuk (October 29, 2002)
  • sierż. Piotr Mikułowski (March 4, 2003)
  • sierż. Paweł Legencki (March 4, 2003)
  • sierż. Sebastian Gruszka (September 20, 2009)
  • mł. chor. Bartosz Spychała (April 3, 2011)
  • mł. chor. szt. Arkadiusz Horbiński (May 8, 2011)
  • st. chor. szt. Mirosław Łucki (August 24, 2013)

References[edit]

Sources[edit]