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Poland launches Cyberspace Defence Forces

The Polish Ministry of National Defence launched the Cyberspace Defence Force (Wojska Obrony Cyberprzestrzeni, WOC), the newest component of the Polish Armed Forces, on 8 February.

At the launch ceremony at the Military University of Technology, the Minister of National Defence, Mariusz Błaszczak, said, ”In 2016 NATO announced cyberspace as another domain in which Article 5 [the collective defence clause of the North Atlantic Treaty] could be activated. The WOC is part of the regular army, with reconnaissance, defence, and offensive capabilities.”

”Modern threats are focused on new technologies, which is why we have to develop the relevant technical infrastructure,” WOC commander General Karol Molęda said. ”Our existence is defined by the nature of modern conflicts.”

The Cyberspace Defence Forces Component Command was developed from the National Cyber Security Centre (Narodowe Centrum Bezpieczeństwa Cyberprzestrzeni, NCBC). The process began in February 2019, when Błaszczak approved the operational concept of the WOC. Plans to create cyber forces were first announced during the October 2017 European Cybersecurity Forum in Krakow. In 2017 the then Minister of National Defence, Antoni Macierewicz, stated that the WOC would number 1,000 personnel and cost PLN2 billion (USD508 million) to establish.

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