On 17th – 18th November 2016 Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, Poland, was the host of the international scientific conference “Territorial Defence and Its Role in the Contemporary Security Systems” , an event under the honorary patronage of the Chief of the Polish National Security Bureau, Mr. Paweł Soloch. The Faculty of the National Security of the College of Business and Entrepreneurship – the main organizer of the conference – initiated therefore the academic and expert’s discussion concerned the shape and role of the Territorial Defence Forces in the Polish security system. Two-days-long conference had an international character, due to the presence of scientists, analysts and experts from Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, Norway and the United States of America.
The conference meetings were divided into five thematic panels. The first panel “Territorial Defence in Poland – tradition, conceptions, solution” [moderators Lt. Gen. (ret.) Dr. Józef Flis and Dr. Tomasz Gajewski] was initiated by Col. Prof. Tit. Jerzy Kajetanowicz, who described Polish experiences in the TD development after the Second World War. The next two panellists, Col. Prof. Tit. Ryszard Jakubczak and Col. Dr. Hieronim Szafran, share their opinions on the role of the Territorial Defence in the warcraft and the requirements and directions of the development of the Polish TD Forces. A very important speech was given by Col. Remigiusz Żuchowski, from the Bureau of the Territorial Defence Implementation [the branch of the Polish Ministry of National Defence], titled “POL MOD Concept for Territorial Defence Forces”. Col. Żuchowski described the main goals of Polish Ministry of Defence in the creation of territorial forces and their role in the security system as the fifth branch of the Polish Armed Forces [next to the Army, Navy, Air Force and Special Forces]. During the first panel Dr. Vadim Volovoj from Lithuania share his opinion on the Polish actions on the Baltic-state-citizen point of view, and Dr. Paweł Makowiec, a representative of the Polish pro-defence NGO gave a speech on the use of the Polish Home Army [World War II anti-Nazi underground organization] experiences in the process of arranging the Territorial Defence Forces main tasks. The first part of the conference was followed by a very vivid discussion on the necessity of implementation, forms of organization and tasks of the Territorial Defence Forces in Poland.
The second panel, titled “The military industry towards the Territorial Defence” [moderator Maj. Gen. (ret.) Andrzej Pietrzyk], was the presentation of the newest armament and equipment directed to the Territorial Defence Forces, including personal weapon [f. e. MSBS RADOM carbines], anti-tank grenade launchers, optical systems, communication systems, new patterns of uniforms etc. Polish military industry companies MESKO, DEZAMET, FB „ŁUCZNIK”-RADOM, MASKPOL, PCO, RADMOR, ZM TARNÓW, German DYNAMIT NOBEL DEFENCE and Norwegian NAMMO TALLEY presented their products on an exposition.
The second conference day consisted of three panels. The third panel – “The conditions of Territorial Defence concepts in Poland” [moderators Col. Dr. Krzysztof Nowacki and Dr. Przemysław Furgacz] – gathered the scientists from Polish public and non-public universities and the members of the pro-defence NGO’s. The panellists presented their views on the evolution of the TD forces implementation in the Polish political parties’ election programs [Dr. Andrzej Zapałowski], the position of the pro-defence NGO’s in the Polish legal system [Natalia Tomaszewsk]), the academic pro-defence initiatives [Assoc. Prof. Ireneusz Dziubek, Dr. Jakub Żak] or the analysis of the Polish counterinsurgency experiences [Col. Dr. Marek Żyła].
The fourth conference panel [moderators Dr. Vadim Volovoj, Dr. Tomasz Gajewski] concerned the history and present organisation of the Territorial Defence Forces in the world. The panellists introduced the examples of Switzerland [Cpt. (ret.) Claude Bonard, former Delegate for Security Policy, Department of Military Affairs, State of Geneva and former commander of Geneva Official military band “Landwehr”], Sweden [Lt. Partycjusz Kosmowski, Hemvärnet], Former People’s Republic Yugoslavia, Lithuania and Turkmenistan. The representation of the Romanian Retired Officers Association [Lt. Gen. (ret.) Dr. Dan Plăvițu, Mjr. Gen. (ret.) Dr. Dan Florin Grecu, Col. (ret.) Dr. Pascu Furnica] gave very interesting speeches on the Romanian experiences and initiatives.
The last – fifth – conference panel concerned the usage of the Territorial Defence Forces in the hybrid warfare [moderators Dr. Tomasz Gajewski, Dr. Przemysław Furgacz, Dr. Jakub Żak]. The panellists from Georgia [Dr. Vakhtang Maisaia, an independent NATO expert, and Dr. Khatuna Chapichadze] and Ukraine [the representation from the Chernivtsy National University ahead with Prof. Tit. Yuriy Makar and Col. Dr. Yaroslav Zoriy] introduced their countries experiences in the latest conflicts.
The conference, under the media patronage of Defence Blog, was a very important event in the present discussion on the role of the Territorial Defence Forces in Poland. Two-days-long debates attracted more than 150 participants and guests, including Senator Jarosław Rusiecki [the Chairman of the Senate’s National Defence Commission], Member of Parliament Anna Maria Siarkowska [the member of the Sejm’s National Defence Commission] or Members of Parliament Andrzej Kryj and Kazimierz Kotowski. The presence of Polish Ministry of Defence representatives was the prove of the substantial subject the conference dealt with. The conference articles, comments and opinions will be published in the “Ante Portas – Security Studies” scientific journal [anteportas.pl] in the beginning of 2017.