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The Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
(Siły Powietrzne, literally "Air Forces") is the aerial warfare military branch of the Polish Armed Forces. Until July 2004 it was officially known as Wojska Lotnicze i Obrony Powietrznej (literally: Flight-and- Air Defence
Air Defence
Forces). In 2014 it consisted of roughly 16,425 military personnel and about 475 aircraft, distributed among ten bases throughout Poland. The Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
can trace its origins to the months following the end of World War I
World War I
in 1918. During the invasion of Poland
Poland
by Nazi Germany
Germany
in 1939, 70% of its aircraft were destroyed. Most pilots, after the Soviet invasion of Poland
Poland
on September 17, escaped via Romania
Romania
and Hungary
Hungary
to continue fighting throughout World War II
World War II
in allied air forces, first in France, then in Britain, and later also the Soviet Union.

Contents

1 History

1.1 1918–1930 1.2 1933–1938 1.3 1939 1.4 Strength of Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
on 1 September 1939 1.5 1940 (France) 1.6 1940–1947 (United Kingdom) 1.7 1943–1945 (Soviet Union) 1.8 1949–1989 1.9 Since 1990

2 Aircraft

2.1 Current inventory

3 Major
Major
bases

3.1 Structure

4 Ranks and insignia

4.1 Commissioned officers 4.2 Staff Non-commissioned officers 4.3 Non-commissioned officers and privates 4.4 Qualification badges

5 Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
Tu-154 crash, 2010 6 See also 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links

History[edit] Main article: History of Polish Air Force 1918–1930[edit]

Albatros D.III (Oef) fighters of the Polish 7th Air Escadrille
Polish 7th Air Escadrille
at Lewandówka airfield in the winter of 1919-1920

Military aviation in free Poland
Poland
started even before the officially recognised date of regaining independence (11 November 1918). Poland was under German and Austro-Hungarian occupation until the armistice, but the Poles started to take control as the Central Powers
Central Powers
collapsed. Initially, Polish air force consisted of mostly German and Austrian aircraft, left by former occupants or captured from them, mostly during the Greater Poland
Poland
Uprising. These planes were first used by the Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
in the Polish-Ukrainian War
Polish-Ukrainian War
in late 1918, during combat operations centered around the city of Lwów
Lwów
(now Lviv).[2] On 2 November 1918 pilot Stefan Bastyr
Stefan Bastyr
performed the first combat flight of Polish aircraft from Lviv.[3] When the Polish-Soviet War
Polish-Soviet War
broke out in February 1920, the Polish Air Force used a variety of former German and Austro-Hungarian, as well as newly acquired western-made Allied aircraft. Most common at that time were light bomber and reconnaissance aircraft, among most numerous were French Breguet 14
Breguet 14
bombers, German LVG C.V
LVG C.V
reconnaissance aircraft, British Bristol F2B
Bristol F2B
scouts and Italian Ansaldo Balilla fighters.[4]

American volunteers, Merian C. Cooper
Merian C. Cooper
and Cedric Fauntleroy, fighting in the Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
as part of the Polish 7th Air Escadrille, known as the "Kościuszko Squadron"

Tail insignia of the Kościuszko Squadron

After the Polish-Soviet War
Polish-Soviet War
ended in 1921, most of the worn out World War I aircraft were gradually withdrawn and from 1924 the air force started to be equipped with new French aircraft. In total in 1918-1924 there were 2160 aircraft in the Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
and naval aviation (not all in operable condition), in which there were 1384 reconnaissance aircraft and 410 fighters.[4] From 1924 to 1930 the primary fighter of the Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
was the SPAD 61
SPAD 61
and its main bombers were the French produced Potez 15
Potez 15
and the Potez 25, which was eventually manufactured in Poland
Poland
under license from Aéroplanes Henry Potez. The first Polish-designed and mass-produced aircraft to serve in the country's air force was a high wing fighter, the PWS-10, first manufactured in 1930 by the Podlasie Aircraft Factory. 1933–1938[edit]

PZL.23 Karaś
PZL.23 Karaś
tactical bomber

In 1933, Zygmunt Pulawski's first high wing, all-metal aircraft, the PZL
PZL
P.7a, was designed and produced, with 150 entering service. The design was followed by 30 improved PZL
PZL
P.11a aircraft and a final design, the PZL
PZL
P.11c, was delivered in 1935 and was a respectable fighter for its time; 175 entered service and it remained the only Polish fighter until 1939, by which time foreign aircraft design had overtaken it. Its final version, the PZL
PZL
P.24, was built for export only and was bought by four countries. A new fighter prototype, the PZL.50 Jastrząb
PZL.50 Jastrząb
(Hawk), similar to the Seversky P-35
Seversky P-35
in layout, was curtailed by the Nazi invasion and two twin-engine heavy fighters, the PZL.38 Wilk
PZL.38 Wilk
and the PZL.48 Lampart, remained prototypes.[2] As far as bombers are concerned, the Potez 25
Potez 25
and Breguet 19
Breguet 19
were replaced by an all-metal monoplane, the PZL.23 Karaś, with 250 built from 1936 onwards, but by 1939 the Karas was outdated. In 1938 the Polish factory PZL
PZL
designed a modern twin-engine medium bomber, the PZL.37 Łoś
PZL.37 Łoś
(Elk). The Łoś had a bomb payload of 2580 kg and a top speed of 439 km/h. Unfortunately, only about 30 Łoś A bombers (single tailfin) and 70 Łoś B (twin tailfin) bombers had been delivered before the Nazi invasion.

PZL.37 Łoś
PZL.37 Łoś
medium bomber

As an observation and close reconnaissance plane, Polish escadres used the slow and easily damaged Lublin R-XIII, and later the RWD-14 Czapla. Polish naval aviation used the Lublin R-XIII
Lublin R-XIII
on floats. Just before the war, some Italian torpedo planes, the CANT Z.506, were ordered, but only one was delivered, and it was without armament. The principal aircraft used to train pilots were the Polish-built high-wing RWD-8
RWD-8
and the PWS-26
PWS-26
biplane. In 1939, Poland
Poland
ordered 160 MS-406s and 10 Hawker Hurricane
Hawker Hurricane
fighters from abroad, but they were not delivered before the outbreak of war. 1939[edit] See also: Polish September Campaign On 1 September 1939, at the beginning of the invasion of Poland, all the Polish combat aircraft had been dispersed to secondary airfields, contrary to a commonly-held belief, based on German propaganda, that they had all been destroyed by bombing at their air bases. The aircraft destroyed by German bombers on the airfields were mostly trainers. The fighters were grouped into 15 escadres; five of them constituted the Pursuit Brigade, deployed in the Warsaw
Warsaw
area. Despite being obsolete, Polish PZL-11 fighters shot down over 170 German aircraft. The bombers, grouped in nine escadres of the Bomber Brigade, attacked armoured ground columns but suffered heavy losses. Seven reconnaissance- and 12 observation escadres, deployed to particular armies, were used primarily for reconnaissance. Part of the Polish Air Force was destroyed in the campaign; the surviving aircraft were either captured or withdrawn to Romania, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovenia
Slovenia
or Sweden, whose air forces subsequently employed these aircraft for their own use (in the case of Romania
Romania
until 1956)[citation needed]. A great number of pilots and aircrew managed to escape to France
France
and then to Britain, where they played a significant part in the defence of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
against Nazi invasion, during the Battle of Britain. Strength of Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
on 1 September 1939[edit]

A PZL.43
PZL.43
tactical bomber

A RWD-14 Czapla
RWD-14 Czapla
reconnaissance aircraft

Aircraft[5] Origin Type Variant In service Notes

Combat Aircraft

PZL
PZL
P.11 Poland fighter

175 combat formations consisted of 140

PZL
PZL
P.7 Poland fighter

105 combat formations consisted of 30

PZL.23A Poland light bomber

35

PZL.23B Poland light bomber

170 combat formations consisted of 120

PZL.43 Poland light bomber

6 combat formations consisted of 6

PZL.46 Sum Poland light bomber

2 combat formations consisted of 1

PZL.37 Łoś Poland medium bomber

86 combat formations consisted of 36

LWS-6 Żubr Poland medium bomber

15

Surveillance

LWS-6 Żubr Poland spotter

150 combat formations consisted of 55

RWD-14 Czapla Poland reconnaissance

60 combat formations consisted of 40

RWD 8 Poland reconnaissance

550 combat formations consisted of 20

PWS-16 Poland reconnaissance / trainer

15 combat formations consisted of 15

1940 (France)[edit] Main article: Polish Air Forces in France

The emblem of the No. 302 Polish Fighter Squadron
No. 302 Polish Fighter Squadron
featured the designation of the GC I/145, from where most of its initial crew came

After the fall of Poland, the Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
started to regroup in France. The only complete unit created before the German attack on France
France
was the GC I/145 fighter squadron, flying Caudron C.714
Caudron C.714
light fighters. It was the only unit operating the C.714 at the time. The Polish pilots were also deployed to various French squadrons, flying on all types of French fighters, but mostly on the MS-406. After the surrender of France, many of these pilots managed to escape to Britain to continue the fight against the Luftwaffe. 1940–1947 (United Kingdom)[edit] See also: Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
in Great Britain

Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
of France
France
and Great Britain memorial St Clements Church London

Following the fall of France
France
in 1940, Polish units were formed in the United Kingdom, as a part of the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
and known as the Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
(PAF). Four Polish squadrons were formed: 300 Squadron and 301 Squadron flew bombers, 302 Squadron and 303 Squadron flew Hawker Hurricane
Hawker Hurricane
fighters. The two Polish fighter squadrons first saw action in the third phase of the Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain
in August 1940, with much success; the pilots were battle-hardened and Polish flying skills had been well learned from the invasion of Poland. The pilots were regarded as fearless, sometimes bordering on reckless. Nevertheless, success rates were very high in comparison to UK and Empire pilots. 303 Squadron became the most efficient RAF fighter squadron at that time. Many Polish pilots also flew individually in other RAF squadrons. As World War II
World War II
progressed, further Polish squadrons were created in the United Kingdom: No. 304 Polish Bomber Squadron
No. 304 Polish Bomber Squadron
(bomber, then Coastal Command), 305 Squadron (bomber), 306 Squadron (fighter), 307 Squadron (night fighter), 308 Squadron (fighter), 309 Squadron (reconnaissance, then fighter), 315 Squadron (fighter), 316 Squadron (fighter), 317 Squadron (fighter), 318 Squadron (fighter-reconnaissance), 663 Squadron (air observation/artillery spotting) and the Polish Fighting Team
Polish Fighting Team
also known as the "Skalski Circus", attached to 145 Squadron RAF. The fighter squadrons initially flew Hurricanes, then switched to Spitfires, and eventually to North American Mustangs. 307 Squadron, like other night fighter squadrons (such as 410 Squadron Royal Canadian Air Force), flew Boulton-Paul Defiants, Bristol Beaufighters and finally de Havilland Mosquitoes. The bomber squadrons were initially equipped with Fairey Battles and Vickers Wellingtons. 300 Squadron was later assigned Avro Lancasters, 301 Squadron Handley Page Halifaxes and Consolidated Liberators and 305 Squadron, de Havilland Mosquitoes and North American Mitchells. 663 Squadron (air observation/artillery spotting) flew Auster AOP IIIs and Vs. After the war, all equipment was returned to the British, but only some of the pilots and crews actually returned to Poland, many settling in the United Kingdom. 1943–1945 (Soviet Union)[edit] See also: Air Force of the Polish Army Along with the Polish People's Army (Ludowe Wojsko Polskie) in the USSR, the Ludowe Lotnictwo Polskie – Polish People's Air Force – was created, in defence of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
against Nazi invasion. In late 1943, the 1st Fighter Regiment "Warszawa", (equipped with Yak-1
Yak-1
and Yak-9
Yak-9
aircraft), the 2nd Night Bomber Regiment "Kraków" (flying Polikarpov Po-2
Polikarpov Po-2
aircraft – produced in Poland
Poland
as the CSS-13
CSS-13
from 1949 onwards), and the 3rd Assault Regiment (flying Ilyushin Il-2
Ilyushin Il-2
aircraft) were formed. During 1944–5, further regiments were created, coming together to form the 1st Mixed Air Corps, consisting of a bomber division, an assault division, a fighter division and a mixed division. After the war, these returned to Poland and gave birth to the air force of the People's Republic of Poland. 1949–1989[edit]

MiG-15
MiG-15
fighter

In 1949, the Li-2sb transport aircraft was adapted into a bomber and in 1950, Poland
Poland
received Petlyakov Pe-2
Petlyakov Pe-2
and Tupolev Tu-2
Tupolev Tu-2
bombers from the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
along with USB-1 and USB-2 training bombers. In 1950 also, the Yak-17
Yak-17
fighter came into service, as did the Ilyushin Il-12 transport and the Yak-18
Yak-18
trainer. From 1951 onwards, the Polish Air Force was equipped with Yak-23
Yak-23
jet fighters and MiG-15
MiG-15
jets, along with a training version, the MiG-15
MiG-15
UTI, and later, in 1961, the MiG-17. As well as Soviet-produced aircraft, from 1952 onwards Soviet MiG-15 and later MiG-17
MiG-17
fighters were produced under licence in Poland
Poland
as the Lim-1, Lim-2 and later the Lim-5. A domestic ground attack variant of the Lim-5M was developed as the Lim-6bis in 1964. The only jet bomber used by the Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
during this period was the Ilyushin Il-28, from 1952 onwards. Poland
Poland
used only a small number of MiG-19s from 1959, in favour of the MiG-21
MiG-21
from 1963 onwards, which became its main supersonic fighter. This aircraft was used in numerous variants from MiG-21F-13, through MiG-21PF and MF to MiG-21bis. Later, the Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
received 37 MiG-23s (1979) and 12 MiG-29s (1989). The main fighter-bomber and ground attack aircraft after 1949 was the Il-10 (a training version, the UIl-10, entering service in 1951). From 1965 onwards, Poland
Poland
also used a substantial number of Su-7Bs for bombing and ground attack, replaced with 27 Sukhoi Su-20s in 1974 and 110 Sukhoi Su-22s in 1984.

Il-28 medium bomber

Propeller-driven training aircraft, the Junak-2 (in service since 1952), the TS-9 Junak-3 (in service since 1954) and the PZL
PZL
TS-8 Bies (since 1958) were later replaced by a jet trainer, the domestically built TS-11
TS-11
Iskra. Another Polish jet trainer, the PZL
PZL
I-22 Iryda, was used for some time but, because of continuing problems, all machines were returned to PZL
PZL
for modification and did not resume service. The Yak-12
Yak-12
was used as a multirole aircraft from 1951, the An-2
An-2
from 1955 and subsequently the Wilga-35 P. Transport aircraft used by the Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
during this period included: the Il-14 (first in service in 1955), the Il-18 (first in service in 1961), the An-12B (first in service in 1966), the An-26 (first in service in 1972), the Yak-40
Yak-40
(first in service in 1973) and the Tupolev Tu-154. A number of helicopters were used by the Polish Army: the SM-1
SM-1
(a Mil Mi-1
Mil Mi-1
manufactured under licence), which was a multirole helicopter, in operation since 1956; the Mil Mi-4, multirole, since 1958; the PLZ SM-2, multirole, since 1960; the Mil Mi-2 and Mil Mi-8
Mil Mi-8
(later also Mil Mi-17), multirole, since 1968 and the Mil Mi-24, a combat helicopter, since 1976. Also the Mil Mi-14, an amphibious helicopter, and the Mil Mi-6, both used as transports. In 1954, the Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
was merged with the Air Defence
Air Defence
Force, creating the Air and Country Air Defence
Air Defence
Forces (Wojska Lotnicze i Obrony Przeciwlotniczej Obszaru Kraju  – WLiOPL OK), a military organisation composed of both flying and anti-aircraft units. In 1962, the WLiOPL OK were separated back again into their two original component bodies: the Air Force (Wojska Lotnicze) and the Country Air Defence Force (Wojska Obrony Powietrznej Kraju). Since 1990[edit]

Standard of the 9th Fighter Squadron regiment

Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
Mikoyan MiG-29
MiG-29
at ILA Berlin Air Show
ILA Berlin Air Show
2016.

After political upheaval and the collapse of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in 1991, and a consequent reduction in the state of military anxiety in the whole of Europe, the Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
saw reductions in size. On July 1, 1990, the Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
and the Air Defence
Air Defence
Force were merged again (Wojska Lotnicze i Obrony Powietrznej – WLiOP or WLOP). The attack capability of this force consisted primarily of MiG-21s, MiG-23s, MiG-29s, Su-20s and Su-22s. The remaining Lim-6bis were withdrawn in the early 1990s, followed soon afterwards by the withdrawal of the remaining Su-20
Su-20
aircraft. The small number of remaining MiG-23s were withdrawn by 1999. Throughout the 1990s, Poland had not purchased any new combat aircraft and only managed to acquire further MiG-29s from the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
in 1995 and from Germany
Germany
in 2004. MiG-21s were finally withdrawn from service in 2003. In 2004, the only remaining combat aircraft flown by the WLiOP were the MiG-29 and the Su-22. As of 2010, the fleet of Su-22s is in need of modernization to retain any value as a combat aircraft and its future is unclear [6] In 2002, the F-16C/D Block 52+ from the American company Lockheed Martin was chosen as a new multirole fighter for the WLiOP, the first deliveries taking place in November 2006 and continued until 2008 under Peace Sky program. As of 2011 the Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
has three squadrons of F-16s: two stationed at the 31st Tactical Air Base
31st Tactical Air Base
near Poznań
Poznań
and the 10th Tactical Squadron
10th Tactical Squadron
at the 32nd Air Base near Łask. The acquisition of the US F-16
F-16
was not without fierce competition from European aerospace companies; the sale was hotly pursued by the French company Dassault, with their Mirage 2000
Mirage 2000
and by the Swedish company Saab, with the JAS 39 Gripen. The Polish Block 52+ F-16s are equipped with the latest Pratt and Whitney F-100-229 afterburning turbofan engines, and the avionics suite includes the APG-68(V)9 terrain mapping radar system and the ALQ-211(V)4 electronic warfare suite. All Polish F-16s can carry modern US precision ordnance, ranging from the JDAM/JSOW to the latest in export-certificate-authorized air-to-air weaponry (including the AIM-120C-5 and AIM-9X). In the aftermath of the presidential Tu-154 crash in 2010 and later Polish-led investigation, the 36th Special
Special
Aviation Regiment, responsible for transporting the President and the Polish Government, was disbanded, while the defense minister resigned.[7][8] A new unit, the 1st Air Base, replaced the 36th regiment. Between June 2010 and December 2017 most official flights were served by two leased Embraer E-175 operated by the LOT Polish Airlines.[9] On 14 November 2016 the Defense Ministry ordered two Gulfstream G550
Gulfstream G550
VIP planes.[10] On 31 March 2017 a deal with Boeing Company
Boeing Company
was signed to supply two Boeing Business Jet 2 and one Boeing 737-800 for the head of state and the government transport.[11] On 27 February 2014 Poland
Poland
signed a €280 million contract with Alenia Aermacchi
Alenia Aermacchi
for 8 M-346
M-346
Master advanced training jets.[12][13] The first two Masters arrived in Poland
Poland
accompanied by Team Iskry
Team Iskry
on November 14, 2016.[14][15] On 11 December 2014 Polish officials signed a contract with the United States for the purchase of 70 AGM-158
AGM-158
Joint Air to Surface Stand off Missile, for $250 million USD. Also contained in the contract are upgrades to the fleet of Polish F-16s to be completed by Lockheed Martin.[16] Aircraft[edit] For retired aircraft types, see Retired aircraft of the Polish Air Force Current inventory[edit]

A F-16C on take off

A Mi-17 on display at the Radom Air Show
Radom Air Show
in 2013

A C-130
C-130
on approach

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes

Combat Aircraft

MiG-29 Russia multirole MiG-29A/UB[17] 31[18]

Sukhoi Su-22 Soviet Union fighter / bomber

32[18]

F-16
F-16
Fighting Falcon United States multirole F-16C/D 48[18]

Transport

Boeing 737 United States VIP transport 737-800 1[19] 2 on order[20]

CASA C-295 Spain transport

16[18]

PZL
PZL
M28 Skytruck Poland transport

23[18]

C-130
C-130
Hercules United States transport C-130E 5[18] ex- USAF
USAF
aircraft[21]

Gulfstream G550 United States VIP transport

2[22]

Helicopters

Mil Mi-8 Russia utility Mi-8/17 12[18]

PZL
PZL
Mi-2 Poland liaison

15[18]

PZL
PZL
W-3 Sokół Poland utility

17[18]

Trainer Aircraft

PZL
PZL
SW-4 Poland rotorcraft trainer

24[18]

Alenia M-346 Italy advanced trainer

8 4 on order[18]

PZL-130
PZL-130
Orlik Poland trainer

16[18]

PZL
PZL
TS-11
TS-11
Iskra Poland jet trainer

36[18]

Guimbal Cabri G2 France trainer

4[18]

Major
Major
bases[edit]

Warsaw

Kraków

Powidz

Dęblin

  Radom

Świdwin

Malbork

Mińsk Mazowiecki

Poznań

Łask

Gdynia  

Siemirowice

Darłowo

Pruszcz Gdański

Inowrocław

Leźnica Wielka

Nowy Glinnik

Air bases of the Polish Armed Forces

Air Forces Fighter Air bases

Air Forces transport Air bases

Air Forces training Air bases

Land Forces (Helicopter) Air bases

Navy Air bases

Base Town Unit Aircraft Task

1st Airlift
Airlift
Air Base Warszawa Helicopter
Helicopter
Squadron W-3 VIP Transport

8th Airlift
Airlift
Air Base Kraków 12th Aviation Squadron 13th Aviation Squadron 3rd Search and Rescue
Search and Rescue
Group M28B C-295M W-3 Airlift Airlift Search and Rescue

12th Unmanned Aircraft Air Base Mirosławiec

UAVs Aerial reconnaissance

21st Tactical Air Base Świdwin 40th Aviation Squadron 1st Search and Rescue
Search and Rescue
Group[23] Su-22 W-3 Ground-attack Search and Rescue

22nd Tactical Air Base Malbork 41st Aviation Squadron MiG-29 Air Defence

23rd Tactical Air Base Mińsk Mazowiecki 1st Aviation Squadron 2nd Search and Rescue
Search and Rescue
Group MiG-29 W-3 Air Defence Search and Rescue

31st Tactical Air Base Poznań 3rd Aviation Squadrons 6th Aviation Squadrons F-16 F-16 Multirole Multirole

32nd Tactical Air Base Łask 10th Aviation Squadron F-16 Multirole

33rd Airlift
Airlift
Air Base Powidz 14th Aviation Squadron 7th Special
Special
Operations Squadron C-130 Mi-17 Airlift Special
Special
Operations Support

41st Air Base School Dęblin 47th Helicopter
Helicopter
Squadron 61st Helicopter
Helicopter
Squadron 4th Training Wing Squadron SW-4 SW-4 TS-11, M-346A[24] Training

42nd Training Air Base Radom 2nd Flying Training Centre Aviation Squadron Aviation Squadron PZL-130 PZL-130 Training

43rd Navy Air Base (Navy) Gdynia Helicopter
Helicopter
Squadron W-3 SH-2G Search and Rescue ASW

44th Navy Air Base (Navy) Siemirowice Aviation Squadron Helicopter
Helicopter
Squadron (Darłowo) M28B Mi-14 ASW and Maritime patrol ASW and Search and Rescue

49th Air Base (Land Forces) Pruszcz Gdański Attack Helicopter
Helicopter
Squadron Mi-24, Mi-2 Attack

56th Air Base (Land Forces) Inowrocław Attack Helicopter
Helicopter
Squadron Mi-24, Mi-2, W-3 Attack, CSAR

25th Air Cavalry
Air Cavalry
Brigade (Land Forces) Tomaszów Mazowiecki 37th Helicopter
Helicopter
Squadron (Leźnica Wielka) 66th Helicopter
Helicopter
Squadron (Nowy Glinnik) Air MEDEVAC
MEDEVAC
Unit (Nowy Glinik) Mi-17, Mi-8 W-3 W-3, Mi-17 Air Cavalry Air Cavalry, SIGINT MEDEVAC

Polish Armed Forces

Branches

  Land Forces   Air Force   Navy    Special
Special
Forces   Territorial Defence Force

History

Timeline Wars

Personnel

Senior officers Rank insignia Awards Oaths

Equipment

Land Forces Navy

v t e

Structure[edit]

1 Skrzydło Lotnictwa Taktycznego in Świdwin
Świdwin
(1st Tactical Aviation Wing)

21 Baza Lotnictwa Taktycznego in Świdwin
Świdwin
(21st Tactical Air Base) 22 Baza Lotnictwa Taktycznego in Malbork
Malbork
(22nd Tactical Air Base) 23 Baza Lotnictwa Taktycznego in Mińsk Mazowiecki
Mińsk Mazowiecki
(23rd Tactical Air Base)

2 Skrzydło Lotnictwa Taktycznego in Poznań
Poznań
(2nd Tactical Aviation Wing)

31 Baza Lotnictwa Taktycznego in Poznań-Krzesiny (31st Tactical Air Base) 32 Baza Lotnictwa Taktycznego in Łask
Łask
(32nd Tactical Air Base) 16 Jarociński Battalion Remontu Lotnisk im gen bryg Stanisława Taczaka in Jarocin

3 Skrzydło Lotnictwa Transportowego in Powidz
Powidz
(3rd Airlift
Airlift
Aviation Wing)

1 Baza Lotnictwa Transportowego in Warszawa-Okęcie (1st Airlift
Airlift
Air Base) 8 Baza Lotnictwa Transportowego im płk pil Stanisława Jakuba Skarżyńskiego in Kraków-Balice (8th Airlift
Airlift
Air Base) 33 Baza Lotnictwa Transportowego in Powidz
Powidz
(33rd Airlift
Airlift
Air Base) 1 Grupa PoszukiwawczoinRatownicza in Świdwin
Świdwin
(1st Search and Rescue Group) 2 Grupa PoszukiwawczoinRatownicza in Mińsk Mazowiecki
Mińsk Mazowiecki
(2nd Search and Rescue Group) 3 Grupa PoszukiwawczoinRatownicza in Kraków-Balice (3rd Search and Rescue Group)

4 Skrzydło Lotnictwa Szkolnego im gen bryg pil Witolda Urbanowicza in Dęblin
Dęblin
(4th Training Aviation Wing)

41 Baza Lotnictwa Szkolnego im mjr pil Eugeniusza Horbaczewskiego in Dęblin
Dęblin
(41st Training Air Base) 42 Baza Lotnictwa Szkolnego im kpt pil Franciszka Żwirki i inż Stanisława Wigury in Radom
Radom
(42nd Training Air Base) Wojskowy Ośrodek SzkoleniowoinKondycyjny "Gronik" in Zakopane Ośrodek Szkolenia WysokościowoinRatowniczego i Spadochronowego Sił Powietrznych in Poznań-Krzesiny

3 Warszawska Brygada Rakietowa Obrony Powietrznej in Sochaczew-Bielice (3rd Rocket Air Defence
Air Defence
Brigade)

38 Dywizjon Zabezpieczenia OP in Sochaczew-Bielice (38th Sustainment Squadron) 32 Wieliszewski Dywizjon Rakietowy OP im gen dyw Gustawa Konstantego Orlicz-Dreszera in Olszewnica Stara
Olszewnica Stara
(32nd Rocket Air Defence
Air Defence
Squadron) 33 Dywizjon Rakietowy OP in Gdynia-Grabówek (33rd Rocket Air Defence Squadron) 34 Śląski Dywizjon Rakietowy OP in Bytom
Bytom
(34th Rocket Air Defence Squadron) 35 Skwierzyński Dywizjon Rakietowy OP in Skwierzyna
Skwierzyna
(35th Rocket Air Defence Squadron) 36 Dywizjon Rakietowy OP in Mrzeżyno
Mrzeżyno
(36th Rocket Air Defence Squadron) 37 Dywizjon Rakietowy OP in Sochaczew-Bielice (37th Rocket Air Defence Squadron)

3 Wrocławska Brygada Radiotechniczna in Wrocław
Wrocław
(3rd Signal Brigade)

3 Sandomierski Battalion Radiotechniczny in Sandomierz
Sandomierz
(3rd Signal Battalion) 8 Szczycieński Battalion Radiotechniczny in Lipowiec (8th Signal Battalion) 31 Battalion Radiotechniczny in Wrocław
Wrocław
(31st Signal Battalion) 34 Chojnicki Battalion Radiotechniczny in Chojnice
Chojnice
(34th Signal Battalion)

1 Grójecki Ośrodek Radioelektroniczny im ppłk Jana Kowalewskiego in Grójec
Grójec
(1st Signal Center) Wyższa Szkoła Oficerska Sił Powietrznych in Dęblin Centrum Szkolenia InżynieryjnoinLotniczego in Dęblin

Szkoła Podoficerska Sił Powietrznych in Dęblin

Centrum Szkolenia Sił Powietrznych im Romualda Traugutta in Koszalin Szefostwo Służby Hydrometeorologicznej Sił Zbrojnych RP in Warszawa Szefostwo Służby Ruchu Lotniczego Sił Zbrojnych RP in Warszawa

Ranks and insignia[edit] Commissioned officers[edit]

NATO Code OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1

Air Forces

Generał Generał broni Generał dywizji Generał brygady Pułkownik Podpułkownik Major Kapitan Porucznik Podporucznik

Abbreviation gen. gen. broni gen. dyw. gen. bryg. płk ppłk mjr kpt. por. ppor.

Staff Non-commissioned officers[edit]

NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7

Air Forces

Starszy Chorąży Sztabowy Starszy Chorąży Chorąży Młodszy Chorąży

Abbreviation st. chor. sztab. st. chor. chor. mł. chor.

Non-commissioned officers and privates[edit]

NATO Code OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1

Air Forces

Starszy Sierżant Sierżant Plutonowy Starszy Kapral Kapral Starszy Szeregowy Szeregowy

Abbreviation st. sierż. sierż. plut. st. kpr. kpr. st. szer. szer.

Qualification badges[edit] The current aviator badge of the Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
has been in use since the 1920s. The badge is called gapa and represents silver eagle in flight with gold laurel wreath in the bill. Navigator/Observer badge (below) represents the same eagle, but in gold with added lightning bolts. It is unlike any other in the other air forces in the world. The gapa was worn in the usual place on the upper left breast above the pocket, but with a chain. It proudly adorned the uniform of Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
officers in the RAF during World War II
World War II
along with their RAF wings. In combat badges (for at least 7 flights in combat conditions) the laurel wreath is green.

Badge Pilot Observer

Air Forces

Pilot Observer

Abbreviation pil. obs.

Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
Tu-154 crash, 2010[edit] Main article: 2010 Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
Tu-154 crash On 10 April 2010, a Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
Tupolev Tu-154M
Tupolev Tu-154M
aircraft crashed near Smolensk, Russia. The crash killed all 96 passengers and crew, including the President of Poland
Poland
Lech Kaczyński, his wife Maria Kaczyńska, the Chief of the General
General
Staff of the Polish Army Franciszek Gągor, Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
commanding general Andrzej Błasik, the President of the Polish Central Bank Sławomir Skrzypek, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, members of parliament, senior military officers, and senior members of the clergy. They were en route from Warsaw
Warsaw
to attend an event to mark the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre, whose site is commemorated approximately 19 km west of Smolensk.[25][26][27] See also[edit]

Stanisław Targosz, former commander-in-chief of the Polish Air Force Team Iskry Orlik Team List of aircraft of Poland, World War II

References[edit]

^ "The Military Budget 2014" Archived 2014-05-14 at the Wayback Machine. ^ a b History of the Polish Air Force. Archived 2011-10-25 at the Wayback Machine. Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
Public Affairs Office. Retrieved November 1, 2011. ^ Morgała (1997), p.97 ^ a b Morgała (1997), p.242-244 ^ Wacław Stachiewicz (1998). Wierności dochować żołnierskiej. OW RYTM. ISBN 978-83-86678-71-6.  ^ http://www.rtl.put.poznan.pl/sites/files/WZLnr2Bydgoszcz.pdf ^ " Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
Unit Disbanded Due to 2010 Crash". Fox News. Retrieved 24 December 2014.  ^ Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
VIP Unit Formally Disbanded. 4-Jan-2012. ^ Polish Government sets in motion measures to upgrade its VIP aircraft fleet as Foreign Affairs Minister visits Dublin. ^ Poland
Poland
Signs Deal to Buy 2 US-Made Gulfstream VIP Planes. abcnews, Nov 14, 2016. ^ Boeing Business Jets, Government of Poland
Poland
Sign Multi-Airplane Deal. boeing.com, March 31, 2017. ^ World Air Forces 2014 December 10, 2013 ^ "Vehicle and aircraft holdings within the scope of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty 2014" May 15, 2014 ^ Siminski, Jacek. "The Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
has received the first two M-346
M-346
Master advanced jet trainers". The Aviationist. Retrieved 18 November 2016.  ^ Dostawa pierwszych M346. ^ "Polish army on spending spree?". Polskie Radio dla Zagranicy. Retrieved 24 December 2014.  ^ "Polish air force receives first upgraded MiG-29". flightglobal.com. Retrieved 31 January 2016.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "World Air Forces 2018". Flightglobal Insight. 2018. Retrieved 1 December 2017.  ^ Narodowej, Ministerstwo Obrony. "B737 "Józef Piłsudski" w Polsce" (in Polish). Retrieved 2017-12-03.  ^ McIntosh, Andrew (April 18, 2017). " Poland
Poland
orders Boeing 737 VIP jets seven years after tragedy". bizjournals.com. American City Business Journals. Retrieved 22 December 2017.  ^ " Poland
Poland
fields last second-hand C-130
C-130
Hercules". flightglobal.com. Retrieved 1 January 2018.  ^ "The Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
Takes Delivery Of Its First Gulfstream G550 VIP Aircraft". The Aviationist. 2017-06-22. Retrieved 2017-12-03.  ^ 1. Grupa Poszukiwawczo - Ratownicza w Świdwinie. Archived 2013-03-15 at the Wayback Machine. ^ AirForces Monthly. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Ltd. January 2017. p. 15.  ^ Harro Ranter (10 April 2010). "ASN Aircraft accident Tupolev 154M 101 Smolensk
Smolensk
Air Base". Retrieved 24 December 2014.  ^ "Final Report Tu-154M" ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-10. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 

Morgała, Andrzej (1997). Samoloty wojskowe w Polsce 1918-1924 [Military aircraft in Poland
Poland
1918-1924] (in Polish). Warsaw: Lampart. ISBN 83-86776-34-X. 

Further reading[edit]

Air Forces Monthly, May 1999 (for details of reorganisation from regiments into squadrons)

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Air force
Air force
of Poland.

Official website of Polish Air Force Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
history Polish Air Force
Polish Air Force
unit insignias, gallery of badges with annotation

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