Friday, 13 August, saw the end of exercise Wargacz-21 – the most important training undertaking of the 8th Coastal Defence Flotilla in 2021. Transport and mine-laying ships, minesweepers and floating auxiliary units together with separate forces from coastal units of the Flotilla conducted mine-laying, mine-countermeasures and transport activities in preparation for a defensive operation.
The manoeuvres began on 4 August. Apart from ship forces (ships of all types: minesweepers, mine-carrying vessels, transport cutters, mine destroyers and auxiliary vessels) all coastal units participated in the exercise. The manoeuvres pk. Wargacz-21 were divided into training episodes, each of them included various tasks for military units resulting from their destination. Special emphasis was placed on the interoperability of all forces, as one of the greatest advantages of the Polish Navy is its interoperability.
During the last days the waters of the Pomeranian Bay, the Southern Baltic Sea and the Gdansk Bay became the area of intensified combat activities of the ships of the 8th Coastal Defence Flotilla. They conducted artillery shooting, carried out tasks in the scope of widely understood mine warfare and conducted transports of troops and equipment.
One of the episodes of the exercise was an operation of loading and transportation by sea on board of the transport cutter of soldiers and equipment of the 14th West Pomeranian Brigade of Territorial Defence. During the exercise there were also episodes in which forces of the MW Aviation Brigade and the 3rd Flotilla of Ships participated. A mass evacuation (MASSEVAC) from a damaged unit was carried out by the air way.
Moreover, the rocket frigate from the 3rd Flotilla of Ships provided cover for the transport and mine ship realizing the transfer of troops to another port. Operations of replenishing supplies at sea were also conducted. In the scenario of the exercise, apart from specialist tasks, there were also elements of the OAS Anti-Failure Defence carried out – removal of damages and ship breakdowns (training in developing the anti-oil dam, collecting oil stains in sea conditions) and fighting with fire. The Naval Port Świnoujście Headquarters, 8th Anti-Aircraft Squadron, 8th EOD Technicians Battalion from Dziwnów carried out tasks of combat support and logistic security of the exercised forces. During one of the episodes the wharves in the Dziwnów harbour were destroyed, then the specialists of engineering support built temporary wharves on the basis of floating platforms and made it possible to load the combat assets directly on the ship.
The 8th Coastal Defence Flotilla in Świnoujście is a tactical unit whose main task is to defend Polish maritime areas, maintain operational regime in the coastal defence zone and participate in the defence of the sea coast. In its structures it brings together all forces of the Polish Navy in the broad sense of mine warfare. Naval forces of the 8th FOW are stationed in the Military Port of Świnoujście and Gdynia.