The Polish Territorial Defence Forces, also known as Wojska Obrony Terytorialnej (WOT), celebrate their own small jubilee – the 6th anniversary of their establishment. This significant milestone coincides with the annual observance of Polish Underground State Day, which has been dedicated to the Territorials for the past six years.
The Territorial Defence Forces of Poland represent the youngest branch of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland. Established on January 1, 2017, their mission is to defend and support local communities. In peacetime, their responsibilities encompass countering the effects of natural disasters and conducting rescue operations during emergencies. In times of war, the WOT plays a pivotal role in supporting operational troops within the zone of direct action.
Since its inception, the Territorials have grown in both numbers and capabilities. The creation of 18 Territorial Defence Brigades and the WOT Training Centre has significantly bolstered their ability to fulfil their mission. Additionally, the establishment of the SONDA non-commissioned officer school and the Agrykola officer cadres training course has further strengthened their ranks with skilled and dedicated personnel.
One of the hallmarks of the Territorial Defence Forces has been their active participation in counter-crisis and relief actions. From their very inception, they have proven to be a strong arm and a dependable source of support for local communities in times of need.
September 27 holds a special place in the hearts of the Territorials. By the decision of the Minister of National Defence in August 2018, this day, dedicated to the creation of the Polish Underground State, was officially designated as a holiday for the Territorial Defence Forces.