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by DAVID AXE
On Aug. 11, a joint Polish-Afghan patrol in Ajuristan was ambushed by a superior number of Taliban fighters, including snipers. Polish Captain Daniel Ambrozinski “took several shots in the snipers’ direction and then leaned out to check if they reached him. Then he was shot in the chest,” said Lieutenant Colonel Dariusz Kacperczyk, a Polish spokesman. Ambrozinski died at the scene. Only after American attack helicopters arrived, were Polish troops able to recover the captain’s body.
To Poles have 2,000 troops in Afghanistan, in addition to hundreds more in Chad with the E.U. peacekeeping force (see video). “I want to make sure that Polish soldiers in Afghanistan were well protected and want an explanation as to why reinforcement troops arrived so late,” said Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.
Polish land forces commander Lieutenant General Waldemar Skrzypczak has an explanation: inadequate equipment. “It is shameful that we haven’t given soldiers needed equipment … We’ve been fighting for equipment [like UAVs and fully armed helicopters] for over two years, but no one is listening to commanders. We’re asking for arms but everything is drowning in procedures.” Skrzypczak resigned in protest.
This is what happens when a former Soviet-style army tries to go to war, in the Western way. According to Defense Industry Daily, the Poles’ “problems have apparently come from trying to keep up with the Americans, who keep changing key components of their body armor, roadside bomb jammers, and night vision gear.”
Other problems involve difficulty budgeting for and delivering equipment to meet trends like personal tactical radios and UAVs, which have caught on in Britain and America as critical components for urban combat. Still other problems involved timely provision of basic upgrades like actually mounting adequate machine guns on Poland’s Mi-17s, and a … supply office that was slow to provide spare parts, leaving Polish soldiers with broken and hence useless equipment.
In Chad, the Poles struggled to sustain forces in the parched desert, where water supplies are critically low. Not to mention, Polish troops in the African country were forced to survive on combat rations that were barely edible.
(Video: David Axe)