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Covid-19: Poland’s WOT territorial defence forces deployed for first time

19 March 2020
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The WOT is supporting the Polish police and border guard during the Covid-19 crisis. Source: WOT

The newly formed Polish territorial defence forces, the Wojska Obrony Terytorialnej (WOT), which is not operational yet, is supporting the Polish police and border guard during the Covid-19 crisis.

Since midnight on 15 March, 1,000 WOT soldiers, along with the Polish Army and military police, are supporting the border guard with border checks and screening potential Covid-19 patients. Some WOT soldiers will also assist the Polish police in supervising the quarantine.

"We have to act quickly during the early stage of the epidemic when there is still the chance of reducing the speed and scope of the virus's spread. In order to do so, the WOT is changing its modus operandi from training to crisis prevention," WOT commander Major General Wiesław Kukuła said on 11 March.

"The WOT's main objective will be slowing down and finally stopping the virus spreading. To reach this objective, the whole force has been on high alert since 12 March," WOT command spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Marek Pietrzak told Jane's on 18 March.

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