Besides a PATRIOT deployment to Sliač in Slovakia until the end of June 2023 under the enhanced Vigilance Activities Battlegroup, Germany deployed another PATRIOT Air and Missile Defence Task Force to Zamość in Poland.
Photo courtesy Bundeswehr.
“Russia’s war against Ukraine, especially the missile that hit the Polish village Przewodow in November 2022, has shown that the protection of NATO airspace along its eastern flank is of utmost importance”, said Colonel Jan-Henrik Suchordt, commander of the German Air and Missile Defence Task Force in Poland. “The deployment of our PATRIOT Air and Missile Defence Task Force demonstrates Alliance solidarity and Germany’s unbroken commitment by providing efficient defensive capabilities to our exposed Allies,” Colonel Suchordt added.
After an expedited deployment to Poland, the three German PATRIOT firing units and one support unit at Zamość reached full operational capability on January 20, 2023, establishing a posture that allows the protection of Polish airspace and critical infrastructure near Zamość. The German PATRIOTs are firmly embedded in the Polish air defence, which in turn is tied into NATO’s Integrated Air and Missile Defence architecture protecting Alliance populations and territory.
The Polish defence authorities certified the German PATRIOT Task Force to NATO standards the same day and the PATRIOTs have since been participating in integrated air and missile defence training activities on an almost daily basis. To ensure 24/7 operational readiness, the 350-strong Task Force works 12 and 24-hour shifts and work closely and seamlessly with their Polish and other Allied air defence forces.
During NATO’s Summit in Vilnius in July, Germany ended the deployment to Slovakia and relocated the PATRIOTs to Vilnus Interational Airport as an integral component of NATO’s integrated air and missile defence for the high-value event.
In the wake of Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine, NATO has considerably increased its collective defence capabilities e.g. by enhanced Vigilance Activities. All Allied assets contributing these activities are fully integrated and coordinated underscoring commitment and readiness. The German PATRIOT Air and Missile Defence Task Force is but one element of this collective defensive effort.