Participation of the Polish Army in Combating Threats Related to the Pandemic SARS-CoV-2
Purpose: Based on the involvement, which is increasing every week because of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the Polish Army is carrying out a wide range of tasks related to the protection of civilians (including technical solutions originally envisaged only for military purposes). This study attempted to assess the causes and purpose of these activities, identify possible deficiencies, and the potential impact on national security in the future. Design/Methodology/Approach: The research was carried out based on a detailed analysis of press materials and current monitoring of the announcements prepared by spokespersons of military units and institutions, as well as announcements of the Polish Press Agency. Their verification and formulation of specific conclusions was possible with the use of the answers given to the authors’ inquiries and interviews with MUT officers and cadets, who participated in the implementation of tasks related to combating SARS-CoV-2. Findings: The events of the last months in Poland have clearly shown the problem that has been repeatedly raised by persons dealing with national safety and security engaged in the protection of the population. The problem is that such persons are underfunded and are not prepared to carry out the tasks imposed on them to a sufficient extent in a situation of threat to the health and life of citizens. Therefore, in the situation of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Poland, it was necessary to involve the Polish Army, which, successfully fills the existing gap in the Polish civil protection system. Practical Implications: The authors, by pointing numerous examples, pointed out that such an efficient and comprehensive operation of the Polish Army would not have been possible without the involvement of a new type of armed force, created in 2017, namely the Territorial Defense Forces, for which the actions taken, provide an excellent opportunity to test in crisis conditions the effectiveness of the adopted solutions, as well as to redefine some of the tasks, and thus better ensure the protection of the civilian population and military security of the country in the future. Originality/Value: In the case of the combating SARS-CoV-2 we find that the controversial new type of armed force in Poland – Territorial Defense Forces – should be developed and prepared to assist the civilian population in crisis situations in the future.