Thursday, January 26, 2012

Poland spent Around half a Billion on Afghan Missions

WARSAW — Poland spent 2.02 billion zloty ($606 million) on arms for its military mission in Afghanistan from 2007 to 2011, Jacek Sonta, the spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, said in a statement.
Poland spent the most in 2010 at 925.6 million zloty for new gear, and the least in 2008, at 125.5 million zloty, the spokesman said.
Since April 2007, when the country increased its military presence in Afghanistan from 150 to 1,200 troops, the Polish Ministry of Defense has launched a series of arms procurement programs, dubbed “the Afghan package.”
The purchases include 8,400 assault rifles, radio communication systems, 10 Israeli-made UAVs, C4ISR systems, five Russian-built Mi-17 transport helicopters and a wide range of munitions.
A significant portion of Poland’s 380 Rosomak armored modular vehicles was also deployed to Afghanistan. The eight-wheel-drive Rosomak is made by Polish state-owned manufacturer Wojskowe Zaklady Mechaniczne Siemianowice under a license from Finland’s Patria.
In 2009, Poland’s military took over responsibility for the troubled Afghan province of Ghazni. A year later, the Polish force in Afghanistan was increased to 2,600 soldiers, making it the fifth-largest among NATO states present in the country.
Poland plans to withdraw all combat troops from Afghan soil by the end of 2014 along with the remaining NATO forces. Over the past five years, 37 Polish soldiers were killed while on duty in Afghanistan.

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