Naval Aviation Brigade. 1994

Published on: 2020-11-07
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Updated on: 2020-11-07
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Category: Squadrons
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PZL W-3 Sokół nb 0815. 2009 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
PZL W-3 Sokół nb 0815. 2009 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

History

The Command of the Naval Aviation Brigade is a military unit subordinate to the Ministry of National Defense, and after subsequent transformations to the General Commander of the Armed Forces. The BLMW command began operating on November 1, 1994, on the basis of the order of the Chief of General Staff of the Polish Army No. of 27.07.1994, and the order of the Commander of the Navy No. 076 of 25.08.1994. On 1 January 1995, the Naval Aviation Brigade gathered under its command all military and aviation units associated with the Polish Navy.

On January 1, 1995, the following were disbanded:

34 PLM (Fighter Aviation Regiment), 18 Rescue and Liaison Aviation Squadron, 42 Field Aviation Workshops.

On January 1, 1995, the following was created (formed):

1st Puck Aviation Squadron, 42nd Technical Squadron, 3rd Navy Security Battalion. On July 1, 1995, more changes took place. In Darłowo, the 40 anti-submarine and rescue helicopter squadron was disbanded, and the 2nd Darłowski Aviation Squadron and the 4th Security Battalion were created.

On January 1, 1996, further changes took place. In Siemirowice, the 7th Special Aviation Regiment, and the 3rd Kashubian Aviation Division and the 5th Security Battalion were created. On the basis of Decision No. 96 / MON of July 14, 1995, the Naval Aviation Brigade received the distinguishing name "Gdynia" and the name Cdr. lieutenant pil. Karol Trzaski-Durski.

On November 22, 1996, the PZL W-3 RM nb 0513 Anakonda helicopter was incorporated into the 1st Puck Aviation Squadron BLMW and the PZL An-28 RF nb 1007 patrol and rescue aircraft in the 3rd Aviation Squadron in Siemirowice. The purchase cost of both aircraft was PLN 3, USD 5 million.

The PZL W-3 RM nb 0513 Anakonda helicopter was the thirteenth copy of the fifth production series of W-3 helicopters. At that time, the seventh series was already being produced in PZL-Świdnik. This helicopter was the fifth helicopter of this type operated in the 1st Puck Aviation Squadron BLMW. The helicopter was the only one of the five that could fly at night with the use of night vision goggles by pilots.

The PZL An-28 RF plane was given the side number 1007. The plane was equipped with the best navigational equipment in MW. It included, among others weather radar with horizontal and vertical imaging of the meteorological situation in front of the plane.

On March 12, 1997, in the rescue operation, the W-3 RM nb 0512 Anakonda helicopter from the 1st Aviation Squadron of the Polish Navy crashed. The entire crew died (2 pilots and 2 crew members). Honor their memory!

On May 21, 1998, the new W-3RM "Anakonda" helicopter was presented at the airport in Gdynia-Babie Doły. It has the side number 0813 and serial number 360813. The helicopter is designed to search for survivors at sea and rescue them. A search system equipped with a thermal imaging camera is a novelty in MW. It allows to detect objects (people) at sea whose body temperature is higher than the ambient temperature. The image from the camera pilots can observe on a special screen mounted in the cockpit. After the end of the tests, the new helicopter was commissioned in the 1st BLMW Aviation Squadron in Gdynia-Babie Doły. At that time, the following helicopters were in service in the Navy Brigade: Nb: 0209, 0304, 0505, 0506, 0511, 0512 (lost in 1997), 0513.

In accordance with the decision of the Minister of National Defense of January 21, 2002, another reorganization was carried out, as part of which aviation squadrons were transformed into air squadrons, while security battalions and a technical squadron created two air bases. BLMW Command is a unit designed to prepare and maintain readiness for operations of subordinate forces and resources in times of peace, crisis and war. The main role of the BLMW Command is to command, manage, administer and organize training as well as to secure and operate subordinate units:

43 Naval Aviation Base in Gdynia Babie Doły, 44 Naval Aviation Base in Siemirowice, Base in Darłowo.

The Command of the Navy Brigade is located at the military airport in Gdynia in Babie Doły, while sub-units are located in Gdynia, Darłowo and Siemirowice.

Structure of the Brigade in 2002:

Command of the Naval Aviation Brigade, 28th Puck Aviation Squadron, 29 Darłowska Air Squadron, 30 Kashubian Air Squadron, 43 Naval Air Base, 44 Naval Air Base.

The Brigade Day is celebrated on July 15. The brigade is named after the Gdynia Naval Aviation Brigade Cdr. lieutenant pil. Karol Trzaski-Durski (BLMW).

In December 2007, the Minister of National Defense introduced a commemorative badge of the Gdynia Naval Aviation Brigade.

Commemorative badge of the Polish Navy Brigade. 2007
Commemorative badge of the Polish Navy Brigade. 2007

From January 1, 2011, naval aviation underwent another restructuring. The existing air bases were transformed into two naval aviation bases. Until now, Siemirowice and Darłowo were separate bases. They included three air squadrons dismantled at the end of 2010.

In 2017, the brigade was entrusted with the task of forming the Polish Military Contingent as part of the European Union military operation EUNAVFOR MED. The first shift of PMC SOPHIA on February 12, 2018 was officially said goodbye by the Minister of National Defense. On February 14, 2018, the main forces were deployed to the mission area. The basic means of the contingent is the PZL M-28B 1R Bryza patrol and reconnaissance aircraft from the 44th Naval Aviation Base. Currently (July 2019), the third contingent shift is in the mission area.

Written by Karol Placha Hetman