The last Polish Military Contingent serving in Afghanistan came home

On Wednesday afternoon, soldiers from the last Polish Military Contingent in Afghanistan returned home on a C-130 Hercules plane. The soldiers were welcomed by the head of the National Defense Ministry, Mariusz Błaszczak.

In June, President Andrzej Duda announced that, in accordance with the decisions of our allies, Poland would not extend its contingent’s stay in Afghanistan and would end its military involvement in this NATO operation at the end of the month.

“The mission in Afghanistan is one of the longest and most difficult foreign operations of the Polish Army; Polish soldiers have been present in Afghanistan for almost 20 years, over 33,000 Polish soldiers and employees of the National Defense Ministry participated in the mission,” the National Defense Ministry stated on Friday.

“Polish soldiers in Afghanistan proved that the Polish Army is ready to support our allies whenever there is a need; You passed this exam with flying colours,” Minister Błaszczak said, on Wednesday, welcoming the last soldiers returning from the Afghan mission.

He assessed that the mission in Afghanistan was “an enormous challenge. It can be said that after World War II, apart from the Iraqi mission, the mission in Afghanistan was the greatest challenge faced by the Polish Army”.

He recalled that Poles in Afghanistan also supported civilians living there, by building roads, schools and hospitals. “Unfortunately, 43 soldiers did not return from the Afghan mission, 200 were injured. The Polish state remembers them and their families,” assured Minister Błaszczak.