WARSAW, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Polish military contingents abroad totalled almost 2,4000 soldiers and staff in 2017, Polish Press Agency (PAP) quoted Poland's Deputy Defence Minister Tomasz Szatkowski as reporting on Wednesday.
Appearing before the Senate (upper house of parliament) National Defence Committee, Szatkowski outlined the Polish army's foreign operations in 2016-17, saying the military's involvement abroad grew notably in 2017, compared to the year before.
In 2016, some 1,400 soldiers and staff were deployed outside Poland, costing PLN 400 million (24 million euros).
In 2017, ten Polish contingents took part in foreign missions and operations, numbering almost 2,4000 personnel and costing over PLN 185 million (44.6 million euros), the official noted.
These missions include NATO projects in the wake of the 2016 summit in Warsaw, such as sending a 400-strong contingent to Lithuania, as well as 2400 soldiers and staff to Romania, to boost the alliance's Eastern flank. Last year, Poland also took part in operation Inherent Resolve against the so-called Islamic State and continued to participate in NATO's Baltic Air Policing initiative.
Looking ahead, as of February, Poland will join the European Union's operation against human smuggling and trafficking in the Mediterranean Sea (EUNAVFOR Med).
Polish military contingents are also present in such countries as Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Central African Republic.
The deputy defence minister said that in the future, Poland would seek to deploy its soldiers and staff abroad not necessarily in great numbers, but on missions where Poland can play a notable role and where it matters for the country's image. (1 euro= 1.24 U.S. dollars)