The first batch of volunteers will be recruited in September, German news resource Spiegel Online has reported.
The state will pay each volunteer 500 zlotys (about €125 a month), and they will undergo regular weekend training. The volunteers will be commanded by professional soldiers.
“The territorial defense force is our response to the threat associated with hybrid warfare,” Grzegorz Kwasniak, the Defense Ministry official responsible for creating the new group, said at a press conference on Thursday.
According to Spiegel, a large proportion of the volunteer corps will be concentrated around Warsaw, and in the east, near Russia; units will also be located near the German border.
Specifically, each of Poland’s 16 voivodeships will receive a brigade of new troops, with the eastern-oriented Mazowieckie voivodeship receiving two brigades.
“A special focus” will be given to the easternmost voivodeships of Podlaskie, Lubelskie and Podkarpackie, Spiegel explained, since these are considered “particularly vulnerable to Russian pressure.”
The decision on the new force’s command structure and senior leadership was made in April, Spiegel noted, citing the Polish Press Agency.