This document describes Warsaw Pact military exercises conducted between 25 May and 2 June 1988. Summarized in detail, the comprehensive exercise brought all facets of the combined forces to “wartime strength” in response to a theoretical threat posed by NATO.
Warsaw Treaty Organization–Armed Forces
Warsaw Treaty Organization
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
[Source: Institute of National Remembrance (IPNBU) 1408/2. Translated for CWIHP by
[letterhead] GENERAL STAFF OF THE POLISH ARMED FORCES
Deliver at 0800 2 June SECRET
Copy Nº 4
[Original Polish receipt and
(for the period 0800 25 May to 0800 2 June 1988)
OPERATIONAL SUMMARY Nº 1
for the period 0800 25 May to 0800 2 June 1988
- In accordance with the growing threat of the “BLUES”, the “REDS” performed a
covert operational deployment of selected formations and units in [their] armed forces.
The following measures were performed within the framework of general preparations:
- the dispatch of servicemen and reserves to military schools, courses, retraining, and
command-staff training has been stopped; servicemen in courses are being recalled to
- troops in temporary locations are being recalled to their garrisons with the exception of
formations at wartime strength and undergoing training (exercises) at training areas;
- at the instruction of the Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces the
formation of detachments for engineer preparation of the terrain began on 1 June and
which will be made ready to carry out work on behalf of the 3rd Front beginning [inserted
by hand: 2] June.
- [the following] have been deployed at field control posts: by 1 June, the staff of the 3rd
Front, by 0800 2 June, the staffs of the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 8th Armies;
- by 26 May formations and units have been inspected for the deployment of elements
of the mobilization base;
- the discharge of reservists being trained has been halted. Equipment received from
the economy has been left in the units;
- since 1 June aircraft and helicopters received from the economy are being accepted
- beginning 26 May a 24-hour watch has been established in all the armed forces and
also in military commissariats; [there are] full shifts in national air defense troops and at
the remaining HQs – reduced [shifts];
- the border forces and selected units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs have increased
security at the border, airfields, and seaports.
- According to a 25 May directive of the GK OVS in the Western TVD he has planned a
frontal defensive operation for 1 June. In response to the actions of the “BLUES” the
forces allocated from the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th Armies and also the engineer troops are
preparing defensive positions in the main defensive zone.
At the instruction of the Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces the
allocated combined-arms units, air forces, navy, missile troops and artillery, and REhB,
intelligence, and communications have been brought up to wartime strength under the
guise of an exercise and work on behalf of the economy and into full combat readiness
in permanently deployed locations or contingency [neplanovye] areas.
A. The 2nd Army (GDR Peoples Army)
- by 25 May the 11th msd had been brought up to wartime strength and beginning on 31
May together with a battalion of engineer vehicles it began engineer preparations of the
2nd and 3rd positions of the main defensive zone in the sector south of SZCZECIN and
- on 25 May the Druzhba-88 exercise began at the DRAWSKI training area in which the
18th msd, 25th td (of the 8th Army), and missile troops and artillery of the Army are
- [the following] have been brought up to wartime strength under the guise of
preparations for an exercise: by 28 May, the 19th td; by 30 May, the 30th msd. The
formations are being brought into readiness in permanently deployed locations and are
undergoing training in combat teamwork [slazhivanie] in garrison training centers.
- the 29th msd was brought up to wartime strength by 2 June; after regrouping it is
beginning to prepare the defense of the coastline in the sector DZIWNÓW,
B. The 6th Army (USSR Armed Forces)
- under the guise of preparations to carry out work on behalf of the economy the 2nd
msd was brought up to strength by 25 May; together with the allocated engineer forces
it is making engineering preparations of the second and third positions in the main
defensive zone in the sector ZAGAN, PIENSK;
- the 1st td was brought up to wartime strength starting 23 May and is training at the
ZAGAN Training Area;
- on 26 May the 3rd msd and on 30 May the 4th msd were brought up to wartime strength
and brought into readiness at permanently deployed areas.
C. The 3rd Army (Czechoslovak National Army)
- the 31st td was brought up to wartime strength on 25 May and beginning 30 May it is
making engineering preparations of positions in the main defensive zone together with a
battalion of engineer vehicles of the 3rd isbr in the sector SLUBICE, GUBIN;
- beginning 24 May the 33rd msd is conducting planned training at the WEDRZYN
- on 28 May the 32nd msd and on 31 May the 34th msd were brought up to wartime
strength and began training in garrison areas to be brought into readiness for
D. The 8th Army (Polish Armed Forces)
- at the instruction of the Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces by 26
May the system of mobilization expansion of Army formations and units was inspected
and mobilization documentation amplified;
- under the guise of a planned exercise formations and units of the missile troops, air
defense, REhB, and intelligence have been brought up to wartime strength and control
posts have been provided; beginning 25 May they have been brought into readiness in
reserve assembly areas or in training areas;
- the 25th td has been brought up to wartime strength and is taking part in the Druzhba88 exercise at the DRAWSKI Training Area;
- the training of the 21st td is underway at the Orzysz Training Area.
E. The 11th vdbr
- after the brigade was brought up to wartime strength it was brought into readiness at
the reserve assembly area.
F. The 12th Coastal Defense Brigade
- it was brought up to wartime strength by 25 May under the guise of joint exercises with
the Navy and is being brought into readiness in permanently deployed locations.
G. The 41st rmd [expansion unknown, but presumably a division, possibly a reserve
- the formation of two mechanized regiments, communications, and air defense subunits
began on 2 June.
In reconnaissance forces
Electronic intelligence units are reconnoitering the armed forces of the “BLUES” at the
indicated lines [rubezhakh].
Special reconnaissance units and subunits are conducting training in combat teamwork
and are being brought into readiness for action.
Reconnaissance aircraft are conducting intensified reconnaissance along the coastline
and the western border of Poland.
In REhB forces
The 24th op-N [expansion unknown] and 8th op-N have been conducting training in
combat teamwork at the MUSZAKI Training Area since 26 May.
The remaining REhB units are conducting intensified training in garrison. Ten percent of
REhB resources are on a round-the-clock watch.
In Missile Troops and Artillery
The formations of operational tactical missiles, field missile technical bases, the 8th
apabr [Army Field Gun Artillery Brigade], the 21st ap BM [Heavy Artillery Regiment],
and the 15th aiptap [Army Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment] in permanently deployed
locations were brought up to wartime strength by 28 May.
[The following] were brought up to wartime strength and deployed by 29 May:
- the 15th apabr and the 15th Artillery Reconnaissance Regiment (oapr) in border regions
in the zone of the 2nd Army;
- the 6th apabr and the 6th apar in border regions in the zone of the 6th Army;
- the 3rd apar in firing positions west of Rzepin.
[The following] are undergoing training in training areas:
- the 3rd apabr and 3rd adnar [possibly “Artillery Reconnaissance Battalion”] since 27
May at the Wedrzyn Training Area;
- the 6th orap [Independent Aerial Reconnaissance Regiment] has been at the Zagan
Training Area since 26 May;
- the 15th orap is taking part in the Druzhba-88 exercise.
The remaining missile and artillery frontal and Army formations and units are being
brought into readiness by 2 June for operations in permanently deployed locations and
9K714 [Oka tactical] missile battalions have been on alert since 25 May in garrison
Tactical missile battalions and reconnaissance/strike and fire groups of first echelon
formations are being brought into readiness in assembly areas.
Conventionally-armed missiles will be delivered to rendezvous points (PV) by 0400 4
June in order to train the allocated forces of the missile troop and artillery for a air
- to PV-1 – WEGORZEWO – four operational-tactical [missiles] and 16 tactical (4 [of
- to PV-2 – WRONKI – eight operational-tactical;
- to PV-3 – SWIEBODZIN – 12 tactical (4 [of them] “T”);
- to PV-4 – RUDNA – 27, including 11 operational-tactical and 16 tactical (4 [of them]
In the air forces
Training in the combat teamwork of the operations of tactical groups is being conducted
in formations and units. Airborne command posts were rebased from army aviation units
to the landing fields of the respective HQs by 2 June where they are being kept in
combat readiness Nº 2.
The preparation of AUD [airfield sections of roads] for the dispersion of aircraft has been
completed. The forward ground support echelons at all airfields have been brought into
readiness for regrouping at the indicated airfields or at intermediate assembly areas.
The second echelons are providing support to the air regiments’ missions.
Aviation ammunition has been stored up to full scale in aircraft parking areas in
readiness for immediate mounting.
In the air defense troops
By 2 June the air forces and air defense forces SKP [possibly “launch command post”]
of the front and the SKP of Army aviation and air defense had been regrouped to the
designated areas and maintained in readiness.
First echelon SAM and radiotechnical units of the Front and armies have been
regrouped from permanently deployed locations to designated areas and brought into
readiness in accordance with decisions made in the Front, armies, and formations.
The 8th zrp and air defense units of the 8th Army have been brought up to wartime
strength and brought into readiness at permanently deployed locations.
The radiotechnical troops of the air defense of the ground forces began to work on
wartime radio frequencies beginning at 0800 2 June.
[The following] are on combat alert in the air defense system:
- in SAM regiments (zenap) – one battery each in readiness Nº 2 and one battery each
in readiness Nº 3;
- in SAM brigades [and] the Krug zrp – one battalion each (less two batteries) in
readiness Nº 2 and one battalion (less two batteries) in readiness Nº 3.
In engineer troops
By 26 May engineer units which were performing work on behalf of the economy had
returned to their garrisons.
[The following] were brought up to wartime strength and into readiness at permanently
deployed locations under the guise of preparations for an exercise:
- by 30 May, the 6th and 15th isbr’s, the 6th and 15th pomp’s, the 6th itp [Engineering and
Technical Regiment], the 29th ib PU [Engineer Battalion for Equipping Control Posts],
and the 220th Fortification Regiment;
- by 2 June, the 3rd and 21st isbr’s and the 3rd itp.
Minelaying equipment and mines are being issued and distributed from centrallysubordinate depots.
Subunits of engineer vehicles of first echelon armies together with combined-arms
formations began the fortification of lines in the main defense zone beginning 31 May.
The 220th Fortification Regiment together with detachments for engineer preparation of
the terrain began the engineering preparation of blocking positions and front line
The 283rd maskb [Camouflage Battalion] was brought into readiness by 26 May and
began the construction of dummy areas in accordance with the Front plan.
In the chemical troops
[The following] have been brought into readiness under the guise of preparations for
- the RAST [computation and analysis station] and rear RAST of the Front and armies in
areas where Front and army control posts are deployed, by 26 May;
- radiation and chemical reconnaissance subunits were brought up to wartime strength
and into readiness for operations in assembly areas by 29 May.
The peacetime system of radiation and chemical reconnaissance began operating in the
country beginning 1 June.
In signal troops
Under the guise of preparations for exercises signals troops regrouped in areas where
Front, army, and formation control posts are deployed by 28 May. Communications
centers were ready for operation by 31 May.
Radio, radiorelay, and cable communications have been organized. Satellite and
troposphere communications have been readied for operation. Communications on
wartime frequencies have been organized in all troop arms.
In the services of the rear
Planned measures are being carried out for the timely and complete deployment of the
men and equipment of the operational rear and the organization of a field system of
supply on behalf of the troops of the 3rd Front.
The rear control posts of the 3rd Front, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 8th Armies, and the rear
formations and units of the 3rd Army (3rd omo [Independent Medical Detachment], and
6th Army (6th mbu [Medical Reinforcement Brigade] were deployed by 0800 2 June.
Full-scale mobile and operational reserves have been stockpiled in line units [v
voyskakh]. Current supply of the troops is done from working stocks at garrison depots.
Materiel resources are loaded onto combat vehicles and the transport vehicles of first
Preparatory measures are being taken at military depots and the bases of the economy
for a mass issue, loading, and distribution of material resources.
Readiness to carry out missions to ensure the survivability of the transportation system
(transshipment points, ports, approaches to crossings] has been verified.
The preparedness of transportation resources (vehicles, trailers, rolling stock, ships)
has been inspected and the priority of their movement (transfer by the armed forces)
when making massive military shipments has been verified. The technical
documentation of the construction of parallel bridges and crossings has been checked
as well as the technical condition of bridges.
Organizational measures for a continuous supply of nurses for the military medical
service have been completed. Evacuation hospital equipment has been supplemented.
Restrictions on the use of fuel have been introduced in the economy.
Blood bank supplies at civilian donor stations intended for immediate delivery to the
armed forces have been inspected.
In the technical services
The 23rd FRB was brought up to strength within the framework of planned exercises by
24 May and sent to the TORUN Training Area where it is undergoing training in combat
teamwork and special training.
The organizational nucleus [orgyadro] for the 22nd FRB and 21st GFRB [expansion
unknown] was called up by 28 May.
Equipment received from the economy is being inspected.
The 225th and 228th orpdn [Independent Missile Transportation Battalion] have been
brought into readiness to receive missiles and to leave for the designated areas.
Beginning 2 June under the guise of preparations for exercises, it began to be brought
up to wartime strength at the location of permanent deployment of the 6th ARB.
THE COMBINED BALTIC FLEET
In accordance with a directive of the Commander of the OBF, the headquarters of the
USSR BF [Baltic Fleet], Polish Navy, and GDR Peoples Navy have updated [utochnili]
plans to defend the coastline.
The allocated strike, anti-mine, and other support forces returned to their bases by 2000
1 June after completing exercises and training launches of missiles. It is intended to
complete the training of a combined ship squadron by 5 June. The plans for the
coordination between the HQs of fleets and concerned formations have been updated.
Naval reconnaissance forces (ship, aircraft, and radioelectronic) have been conducting
continuous tracking of the operations of groups of ships of the Western Baltic fleet.
Twenty-five percent of the water crossing equipment [plavsredstva] has been received
from the economy. Sixty percent of the preparatory work on them has been done. Work
is being done to rapidly deploy ships undergoing repair. Fifty percent of the ships have
been demothballed by the crews. Work is continuing on the rest.
Crews are being urgently trained for ships coming on line. The forces that perform
verification trawling of coastal channels and the PLO forces to search and track
submarines of the Western Baltic fleet have been augmented. Rear and technical
support formations and units are being brought into readiness and are distributing
reserves of material resources. They are deploying a system of temporary basing,
supply, repair, and support to the forces in the areas in which they are serving.
Internal troops, territorial defense troops, and forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs
- At the instruction of the Chairman of the Defense Committee of the Country, the
internal troops, territorial defense troops, and forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs
achieved readiness for operation by 30 May.
Beginning 1 June the defense of seaports and airports was strengthened, as well as
- northern – by the forces of the Baltic Border Troops Brigade (Baltic br PV);
- western – by the forces of the Maritime, [Liubuski], and [Lurzicki] br PV.
- southern – by the forces of the Sudety and [Gornoslenski] br PV.
The border troops were subordinated to the Commanding General of the 3rd Front by 2
Units of the internal troops and territorial defense troops had returned to MPD [their
permanently deployed locations] by 26 May and are undergoing training in combat
teamwork exercises in barracks-like [prikazarmennye] training grounds.
- Locations of permanent deployment
Number Formations, units Location
19th Internal Troops
Defense Brigade (brTO)
Defense Regiment (pTO)
- Authorized organizational structure
A. PV brigades (brPV)
- HQ and staff;
- two border guards battalions of 400 men each;
- a maneuver battalion (of four companies);
Total: 1260 men.
Border troops battalion
- HQ and staff;
- six PV companies (rPV) of 60 men each;
Total: 400 men.
B. Brigade of internal troops (brVnV)
- HQ and staff;
- four infantry battalions;
- a signals battalion;
- a reconnaissance battalion;
- an engineer battalion;
Total: 1800 men.
C Territorial defense brigade (brTO)
- HQ and staff;
- six TO battalions of 400 men each;
Total: 2,500 men
D. Territorial defense regiment
- HQ and staff;
- seven TO companies of 100 men each;
Total: 760 men.
EXERCISE CONTROL STAFF