Polish Submarine Returns from Med Deployment
I worked very closely with our Polish allies when I was at CENTCOM last year, so I'm always happy to see their armed forces demonstrate how much progress they've made in the last 15 years. The return of ORP Bielek (ORP means "Okret Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej", Naval Ship of the Polish Republic) from a three month Mediterranean deployment is another example of how far they've come (Intel source: The Sub Report).
Bielek is one of Poland's four new Kobben-class submarines imported from Norway. (They've also got one older Kilo-class boat left.) The Polish Navy has an interesting history over the last 70 years, including fighting with the Allies in the European theater throughout WWII. (The story of the Polish submarine Orzel gives evidence of their fighting spirit.) From their official web site, you can see how well they've integrated into NATO since they joined in 1999.
To the crew of the Bielek... Welcome home!