moja polska zbrojna
Od 25 maja 2018 r. obowiązuje w Polsce Rozporządzenie Parlamentu Europejskiego i Rady (UE) 2016/679 z dnia 27 kwietnia 2016 r. w sprawie ochrony osób fizycznych w związku z przetwarzaniem danych osobowych i w sprawie swobodnego przepływu takich danych oraz uchylenia dyrektywy 95/46/WE (ogólne rozporządzenie o ochronie danych, zwane także RODO).

W związku z powyższym przygotowaliśmy dla Państwa informacje dotyczące przetwarzania przez Wojskowy Instytut Wydawniczy Państwa danych osobowych. Prosimy o zapoznanie się z nimi: Polityka przetwarzania danych.

Prosimy o zaakceptowanie warunków przetwarzania danych osobowych przez Wojskowych Instytut Wydawniczy – Akceptuję

Attention, Transformation!

With Wiesław Kukuła on the importance of maintaining the high combat readiness of Polish army, the need to create a transformation command and on building the ability to prevent potential threats talk Maciej Chilczuk and Magdalena Kowalska-Sendek.

You announced that among the priorities of the Polish Armed Forces are the maintenance of combat readiness standards and institutionalized management of the transformation of the armed forces. Why are these processes so important?

The Polish Armed Forces must effectively combine two tasks. First of all, maintain the potential to defend Poland at any time, even tonight. At the same time, they must also not only define future threats, but also prepare for them. They are supposed to skillfully reconcile the present with the future, be ready to win today and prepare to win in the future. This approach means accepting a permanent change aimed at gaining an advantage over the opponent. The modernization process does not completely fulfill this approach, as it is, as a rule, more fragmented and focused on improving or supplementing the equipment we already use. Transformation is a comprehensive and systemic change of the entire organization. The proper functioning of the armed forces requires finding a point of balance between the processes of obtaining and maintaining combat readiness and transformation.


To what extent will the transformation affect our combat capabilities?

It will enable their more harmonious building and maintaining. However, the transformation will require institutionalized management of the processes which make it up. To better explain this, I will use an example. In Poland, the division commander is responsible for an extremely wide range of tasks. From the processes related to the recruitment to the service of the candidates for soldiers, through their basic and often specialized training. The same is true for the tasks linked to the mobilization of structures and their replenishment, and programming the development of the commanded structure. As a result of such a wide range of tasks, division commanders have limited opportunities to focus on combat training activities, and our divisions still remain structures too heavily loaded with administrative tasks. NATO countries adopt different transformational models. For example, in the US Army, TRADOC [US Army Training and Doctrine Command] is responsible for the processes I mentioned, and its actions not only relieve operational structures, but also multiply their potential.

Will we create the equivalent of the American TRADOC?

In Bydgoszcz, for many years the Doctrine and Training Center of the Polish Armed Forces has been active, which has such potential that it can be transformed into a command, with an appropriate scope of responsibility and influence on the functioning of the armed forces. This scope will cover, among others: recruitment of soldiers, basic and specialized training, certification of tactical associations, collection of conclusions and experiences, development of doctrines and their implementation, formation of military units. There will also be processes related to experimentation and forging the future capabilities of the Polish Armed Forces. Such is, of course, a target model.

To what extent is transformation management associated with combat readiness levels? Is it your intention to give military units different categories of readiness? The units to act “here and now” would include professional soldiers, and the rest – mobilized, if need arises, reservists?

Maintaining the combat readiness of the structures is a task of current commands – there will be no changes here. For as long as I can remember, we have categorized units in the Polish Armed Forces. So it is today. Recently, however, the North Atlantic Alliance has made changes to the combat readiness management system of the forces, and we will soon synchronize the national management of this process with NATO. In this context, we will distinguish three levels of readiness of military units. The first level will consist of units fully completed, mainly with professional soldiers – it will be possible to supplement such units with active reserve soldiers up to the level of 120% in order to immunize them to losses in the first days of the battle. The second level will be formed by units with professional soldiers and those in active reserve, with capability of entering warfare activity within 30 days. The third level units will have to do this within 180 days. These units will consist mainly of soldiers in active and passive reserve, as only 20% of the personnel are professional soldiers. The role of the transformation command will be to command the units under formation and those newly formed.

Transformation also means the procurement of new weapons. Will the command supervise it?

The development of the armed forces is still modernization, which means that it is strongly focused on buying new armament. Tasks related to building capacity on the basis of these purchases are burdened with commanders who are responsible for maintaining the combat readiness of the troops, including their combat training. It is not an optimal model, it raises many challenges and risks that we are already observing today. In the new model, the transformation commander will implement new military capabilities. He will regularly do this, even before the equipment is purchased and delivered. For example, many of our future AH-64 helicopter pilots are current high-school students. It is now that an efficient system of their recruitment and a plan on how to use training resources for their needs should be prepared. The key to success is the synchronization of tasks resulting from the so-called capability model, hidden under the acronym of DOTMPLFI [Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materials, Personnel, Leadership, Finance, Interoperability]. Obviously, the commander will be supported by infrastructure or logistics entities, but he will bear the main burden of the implementation process. As a result of his activities, the units will be formed and shifted to the branches of the armed forces to complete their training. In conclusion, the transformation command will not supervise the procurement, but will be responsible for the comprehensive transformation of their effects into specific military capabilities.

You have mentioned the training of future AH-64 pilots. Will there also be any changes here? The Polish Air Force University [LAW] is not enough?

I am not at all convinced that the crew members of these helicopters must be officers. Perhaps only commanders should be officers? A serious analysis awaits us in this area, because perhaps it will be necessary to establish a school of eagles for NCOs.

In what time perspective will the transformation command be created?

Today, we forecast the development of the Polish Armed Forces until 2039, and the transformation command is part of this forecast. As early as this year, we will prepare the Doctrine and Training Center for its new function, and gradually give it new powers and widen the scope of activities. We will start with the processes related to recruitment, in the next step a new model of basic training will be designed, and a responsibility for training centers will be taken over. The whole process will take about six years.

Are the division and brigade commanders ready for such changes? Will they understand this philosophy of transformation?

They will focus on training troops and maintaining combat readiness indicators. These changes have been postulated by the commanders themselves. We live in a time when we must understand that transformation as a process, and the changes that follow must be part of our organizational culture. The culture of victory.

Isn’t all that you are talking about a reversal of the principle: “I command, I train, I am responsible”?

It is exactly the realization of it. Commanders will hold responsibility for command and training with a much stronger focus on the mission of the unit they command. This is the idea of the so-called warfighting, i.e. an approach focused on maintaining the combat capability of the fighting structures and on freeing them from tasks that do not fit into the basic functions within the idea and mission these structures have.

In this respect, the commander of a military unit in Poland resembles a small craft workshop, where the owner is responsible for the production, personnel training, recruitment and advertising for people to come to work in his plant. While at some stage of the company’s growth the owner, who lacks personnel, should report this fact to human resources, and then get a selected employee.

The Polish Armed Forces increase the force strength, and the number of structures. At the same time, as I have already mentioned, the largest transformation process in our history is being carried out. It is important to find a balance between the combat readiness of units and transformation. All this means that we have to redefine many processes so that they are more effective and better suited to the enlarged armed forces. We saw the importance of these processes, creating the Special Forces, or completely from scratch – the Territorial Defense Forces. The most important decisions that affected their formation considered the appointment of commands directly responsible for the processes related to their formation.

Another good example is the process of implementing the F-16 aircraft and the bureau of the program with several-dozen personnel, and we can observe the effects of their work in the Polish sky today. Currently, we have more than a dozen similar and more extensive projects and not a single bureau responsible for the program. This carries a huge risk and collision of activities related to maintaining the combat readiness of structures and those related to the process of building new capabilities.

Are these ideas related to the reform of the system of directing and commanding the Polish Armed Forces?

The reform project is in the preparation phase, and it’s too early now to talk about the details, but the transformation command will be one of the proposed changes.

Will the transformation command cover all branches of the armed forces?

As a rule, the command will be combined. In the first stage of operation, however, it is to focus on supporting the branches of the armed forces operating on land and on selected aspects of other service branches of the armed forces and formations. The most urgent aspect is to implement a talent management system in the Polish Armed Forces.

You told us about it when you commanded the Territorial Defense Forces, and later when you were the Chief of the General Command of the Branches of the Polish Armed Forces. The problem was identified a few years ago, but not much has changed.

Changes do not occur overnight. Certainly, though, this change must accelerate – after all, we are not an army of Napoleon’s times, when it was enough to have the nameless human crowd. Our capabilities are defined by personnel – it is the total of individual competences and talents, properly managed, that creates the armed forces. This, in turn, means the necessity to get to know the soldiers better, and to objectify more strongly their expectations in their careers.

How should the talent management system work?

The designed system assumes that soldiers entering the service will be tested on their competence, talents and interests to determine their predispositions. The main tool for this will be the so-called military competence questionnaire. As a result, a matrix describing the candidate’s competences, talents and interests will be created and used later to design his career in order to suit his interests, as well as his potential of a soldier. It is in our interest to multiply the potential of our personnel. For this to be possible, however, we must first get to know our candidate. The recognition of leadership qualities should be considered particularly important, especially when selecting candidates for military academies and officer courses.

You also announced the creation of a drone component. Are we talking about unmanned aerial vehicles?

The management of drone capabilities is too scattered today. In the Polish Armed Forces, there is no institution that would coherently create and manage the development of systems based on unmanned vehicles. According to the concept of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces, this change will include drones used by all branches on land, sea and in the air.

Do these changes include anti-drone systems?

In addition to air and missile protection, anti-drone protection will be one of the priorities of the armed forces development program and will become an important component of the military protection system.

One of the priorities of the Polish Ministry of National Defense is also the “Szpej” program. What has already been done?

I estimate that quite a lot has been done, although the main goals of the program will be achieved by the end of 2026. At this point, 100% of soldiers in line units will be equipped in accordance with the adopted standard for their specializations, and in security units this rate will reach 80%. To achieve this, in the budget for the following years, we allocated an additional two billion zlotys for the purchase of equipment. We have launched all option rights in already implemented contracts, so it will also be a serious challenge for Polish defense industry, as it must in a short time provide the army with the ordered equipment.

Do you also update the receivables tables?

Yes, we do. We plan more differences between specializations, and, as a rule, soldiers will receive more equipment. At the same time, we are working on a new way to define the requirements as regards equipment quality. In the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces, an advisory team is being formed consisting of active reservists, former soldiers from various branches of the armed forces who are to work on this project. My goal is that within two years soldiers, instead of discussing about equipment shortages, would rather discuss about equipment improvement. I mentioned this two-year perspective on purpose, because we also want to build the potential for a new model of active reserve training, and lead to a situation where active reservists receive the same personal equipment as soldiers in active service and, like the TDF soldiers, take it home. We need warehouses for combat resources, not for storing the uniforms of reserve soldiers. In September, we will also organize the first edition of the so-called “szpejowisko,” i.e. a conference where the users and producers will exchange their experience.

To what extent do the war in Ukraine and the conflict in the Middle East affect the changes occurring today in the Polish Armed Forces?

They define them to the highest extent. In addition to constant analysis of this situation’s impact on our national security, we carefully collect experiences and juxtapose them with our capabilities. We are currently working on a program for the development of the Polish Armed Forces for the years of 2024–2039. The accumulated observations and assessments are a great reference to our future capabilities to develop in the perspective of 2039. Never before in history have we had such a wide catalog of experiences in such an unpredictably distant future.


General Wiesław Kukuła is the Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces. Formerly, he was the General Commander of the Branches of the Armed Forces and the Chief of the Territorial Defense Forces. He spent most of his service in the Special Forces.

Talk: Maciej Chilczuk, Magdalena Kowalska-Sendek

autor zdjęć: SGWP, 18DZ, sierż. Aleksander Perz

dodaj komentarz


So essentially we're going to copy TRADOC and the only innovation is that we will call it "Dowodztwo Transformacji". It is a strange combination, as "transformation" is the domain of the United States Army Futures Command (AFC). Army Futures Command's "goal is to _transform_ the Army to ensure war-winning future readiness". This is the real model for "Dowodztwo Transformacji". Whereas TRADOC is for training and doctrine implementation. I am not sure what is the rationale behind this strange naming convention that is being currently promoted by the new MON. But I do know that misleading nomenclature often leads to confusion regarding e.g., goals and objectives. This does not mean that creating a Polish TRADOC is a bad idea. As noted in the interview, we already have CDiSSZ, but we also have Inspektorat Szkolenia DGRSZ, Centralne Wojskowe Centrum Rekrutacji oraz Departament Szkolnictwa Wojskowego MON. Integrating these elements in one command could potentially lead to significant savings and greater efficiency. But let's not confuse the transformation of armed forces with their training.

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