New Minister of Defence introduced in to his Office
We have commitments to meet
Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Petr Necas, introduced Dr. Alexandr Vondra to the office of Minister of Defence following the appointment of new Czech Cabinet by the President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus on July 13, 2010. Prime Minister Necas said in his remarks that Dr. Alexandr Vondra had worked in foreign and security fields for almost twenty years and represented a high added value for the MoD department. At the same time, he thanked outgoing Minister Bartak for his high-quality performance. PM Necas confirmed that the department of defence faced challenging tasks. ”As to international commitments of the Czech Republic, we must remain a reliable partner, we must keep participating in foreign operations in a credible manner. At the same time the defence department must be able to handle budget restrictions and the process of making financial flows and acquisitions more transparent must continue, not only at the MoD, but across governmental departments and agencies.“ Dr. Alexandr Vondra in his first address as the Minister of Defence thanked the outgoing minister Martin Bartak for his endeavour in national defence. He said that we faced huge budget cuts but he did not want to put defence of this country in danger. “I do not want to cut muscle, but fat if necessary. I do not want the cuts be done indiscriminately and impair the lowest ranks only.” The new defence minister stressed the defence department needed support from the public, without which it would be able to sustain development of the military, and at the same time it needed stability and guarantees for those who are serious about defence of the Czech Republic and its international commitments. In the process of assuming the office of the Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic, Alexandr Vondra gave an interview to – the following is an abbreviated version: Minister, what changes have been the key ones in the development of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic over the past twenty years? There are three breaking points in my view: progressive downsizing of the excessively large armed forces, joining NATO including deployments for major international operations and transitioning to all-volunteer force. These three steps were essential and correct. But unfortunately not all the reforms were performed with a clear vision. Some decisions were voluntaristic and rather close to improvising, while we keep repying the arising dues arising to date. In a way, we are still lacking a clear answer to the key question: what do we have the military for and what for we will be using it over the next fifteen to twenty years. We owe the answer and we must offer it both to soldiers inside and the public outside, because we will not do without their support. What will be the first steps you are going to take at the Ministry of Defence? In the weeks ahead, we will be preparing the budget for the next year. We have undertaken in the coalition agreement to save CZK 2.1 billion. My objective will be to identify possible savings in all types of expenses so that the cuts would not fall only on non-commissioned officers and soldiers although it would be the easiest solution for some high-ranking people. In nutshell – if we are to cut anything, it must be fat, not muscle. In addition to that, I would like to call on the defence community to set up a group comprising civilian and military experts both from inside and outside the MoD Department, who will be tasked to the White Book, an essential policy document about the future of the Armed Forces.

How will you resist the pressure of your coalition partners aiming to obtain necessary funding by curtailing defence appropriations? The crisis forces us to seek savings in the long run. But the crisis is also an opportunity. Defence cuts may not go on forever; we should stabilise them instead. The practice of everyone in need of quick funds grabbing for the Ministry of Defence’s budget must simply be brought to an end. Armed Forces development planning period may not be limited just to twelve months, and change the amount of funding every year. We also have commitments to our NATO Allies to meet. We must deliver them and not hamper on our credit as a reliable Ally with ill-considered fiscal planning. What concept should the Armed Forces have – all-service or specialised? Today we are somewhere between all-service and specialised armed forces. While niche specialisation is logical in today’s security environment, the armed forces must not lose its core functions – protection of our national territory. We are neither cancelling fighters nor tanks. Before we decide to pursue the path of specialisation, there must be a clear vision why we do so and what price tag will there be for us in the future to pay. At the same time, we must have assurances that our Allies will help us including in instances when we will not have certain capabilities ourselves.

NATO highly values Czech contributions to operations ................................................... Three days in Operation ISAF ........................... Looking Ten Years Ahead.................................. In AWACS over Europe ..................................... Czech Republic successful in addressing a major NATO challenge .............. Mountains and Sand Checking Czechs .............. Crisis Management “Brussels style“ ................. Caring for Security and Cooperation ................. OSCE ............................................................. The Drill that’s going to Pay .............................. Journey to Millie Paygham ................................ Architects of International Relations ................ Multinational Logistic Coordination Center: One Step Closer................................... Safeguarding Part of the Sky ............................ Every Mission Unique ...................................... Like Playing a Computer Game ......................... Two Years of OMeLeTte .................................... Bozena at the Jordan River ...............................


2 4 6 10 16 18 24 26 30 34 38 42 46 48 52 56 60 63


CZECH ARMED FORCES REVIEW 1/2010 Published by Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic, Presentation and Information Centre Address: Rooseveltova 23 161 05 Praha 6 Czech Republic Tel.: + 420-973 215 553 Tel./fax: + 420-973 215 569 E-mail: Identification number: 60162694

The Chairman of NATO Military Committee, Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, arrived Prague July 15, 2010, for a two-day visit of the Czech Republic.

NATO highly values Czech contributions to operations
Friday, July 16, 2010, Admiral Di Paola attended an ofÀcial welcoming ceremony with military honours in the Honorary Courtyard of the Vítkov National Memorial Memorial, accompanied by the Chief of General Staff of the Czech Armed Forces, General Vlastimil Picek.
The welcome ceremony also involved the Military Representative of the Czech Republic in NATO and EU, Lieutenant-General Jaroslav Kolkus. After reviewing the Czech Armed Forces Honour Unit, Admiral Di Paola with General Picek laid a wreath to the Memorial at Vítkov.

Admiral Di Paola then met with General Picek at the General Staff for discussions on transformation of Czech Armed Forces and on options available to Czech Armed Forces. General Picek and Admiral Di Paola also touched on modernisation projects underway in the Czech defence department. Their discussion focused on operations and primarily the missions in Afghanistan. “The Armed Forces of the Czech Republic has always worked actively in foreign operations and that will continue. Such efforts will however be based on political decisions of our political leaders and will depend on the potential of national economy,“ General Picek stressed. Admiral Di Paola’s military service career has been extremely rich - he commanded Cappelini and Sauro submarines as well as Garibaldi aircraft carrier and served in senior positions of the Italian Ministry of Defence and Defence Staff. In a press conference he stated: “As a NATO representative, I would like to say that the Alliance is very grateful for all contributions the Czech Republic is providing into operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan. Despite the difÀcult economic situation impacting on other Allies alike, NATO remains very grateful for your participation in those efforts.“ The Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee also said increasing the number of instructors in Afghanistan was an important moment on the way towards improving security situation in the country. As to NATO’s requirements addressed to the Czech Republic, they are the same as requirements addressed to all other Allies, and it is up to each NATO nation how those contributions will be realised. But Afghanistan remains operational priority

number one. “Presently, it is essential to invest into training Afghani National Security Forces. Secure future of Afghanistan is also a secure future for us. In case savings are needed, the restrictions should be done in overhead and administrative functions, not operations,“ Admiral Di Paola stressed. On Friday, the Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee had a call on the Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra at the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic. Their discussion covered the involvement of Czech Armed OfÀcers in international efforts, primarily Operation ISAF in Afghanistan, and the ongoing transformation of Czech Armed Forces. The Czech Republic will send a new unit to Afghanistan – an operational mentoring and liaison team to provide training to Afghani National Army personnel. A Àftymember team to operate in the Wardak Province in Afghanistan will deploy in a September timeframe. The new deployment, however, Àts within the number of service personnel in foreign operations mandated by the Parliament for 2010. The schedule of Admiral Di Paola’s visit also included a brief call with the President of the Czech Republic, Václav Klaus. photos by Marie KŐížová and MoD PIC




Date of publication: July 2010 Editor-in-chief: Jan Procházka Layout: Jitka Oktábcová Translation: Jan Jindra Printed by: EUROPRINT, a. s.

NATO Integration

Since April, Major Milan Vojáÿ ek has been an operation pilot of the E-3A AWACS airborne warning and control system aircraft, while the Czech Republic is in sight of its full membership in the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control program (NAEW&C)

In AWACS over Europe


At the runway threshold of NATO airbase nearby Geilenkirchen, Germany, an E-3A Sentry AWACS airplane stands ready. ”Cleared for take-off, runway two seven,“ instruction from trafÀc controller sounds in the headset of the pilot, Major Milan Vojáÿek. Having set the four Pratt&Whitney turbofans to take-off mode, he let loose brakes. Boeing B-707/320 with its hallmark, the round rotating radar antenna, starts on the runway and gets airborne soon to climb to its Áight level. It is about ninety minutes before today’s destination in Norway is reached.



Deployed Operations

Firing the M2HB-QCB heavy machine gun mounted on Iveco light armoured vehicles is very accurate and relatively comfy.

Like Playing a Computer Game

We are allocated frequencies we must be permanently available at, and let’s go. “We will be shooting nearly all weapons used by the contingent: Glock 17 pistols, Sa-58 riÁes, Minimi, MG3 and M2HB 12.7-mm machine guns, Sako and Falkon sniper riÁes, AGS-17 grenade launchers and Carl Gustav RPGs. The Czech representative in the EUPOL (EU Police Mission), who is with us today, has even brought the German G 36 submachine gun. If we are good timewise, we will also shoot DShK and PKM machine guns mounted on Humvees,“ explains the ofÀcer responsible for today’s Àring practise, WO ZdenĚk I., and continues: “To maintain habits you have drilled and your marksmanship standards is even more important on an operational tour than anywhere else. That is why we practise shooting twice a week. One time we go here, at the Altimur infantry range, where we can shoot long distances. We could hardly try such training out back home. In addition to that, we are using another range right on the base, which was created from former helipad. But only shortrange practise is possible there.“

Distributed by PIC MO: Rooseveltova 23 161 05 Praha 6 Czech Republic Tel.: + 420-973 215 602 Registration number: MK ČR E 18227 ISSN 1803-2125

We left blast walls ringing Camp Shank and headed south down the Road Utah. An extraordinary long convoy of Humvee, Dingo and Iveco co armoured vehicles indicates that this time it is neither a patrol nor an escort ort convoy. Service ruction Team (PRT) personnel of the 5th contingent the Provincial Reconstruction in Logar are scheduled for infantry weapon shooting practise. actise.
Expected time of arrival back to the camp is as late as four p.m. So, MRE packs will need to make up for the lunch. There will not be time later on to eat; some therefore rather eat now. One of the soldiers offers us dried beef. He says it’s a perfect thing: it just weighs a couple of grams and makes you feel full. He also shows how to eat it. The best way is to tear Àbres with teeth and let it in the mouth for a while, until saliva increases its volume.


We are interested most in the inventory of the Iveco LMV light armoured vehicles that the reconnaissance detachment uses. Drivers praised driving properties of the vehicle equipped with automatic gearbox a short while ago. Despite all armour and a strong protection, the vehicle is said to be highly manoeuvrable. It does up to hundred and ten kilometres an hour on road. The modular ballistic protection can easily be enhanced with add-on armour sets. Up on the roof, accessible through a hatch, is the Protector M151 A2 weapon station controlled from within the cab, produced by Kongsberg company of Norway. It houses the M2HB.QCB heavy machine gun manufactured by FN Herstal of Belgium. Apart from those, the weapon station can also mount a 40-mm grenade launcher as well as Javelin, Mistral or CRV7/Hydra missiles. There are also smoke grenades, but they do not get activated this time.

© MoD Czech Republic Presentation and Information Centre photos by Marie Křížová


Someone behind us says the local range is real good. They say there is a rock like from the Harry Potter, nearly a thousand metre high. It just takes of couple of minutes for us to see for ourselves that they had not bluffed this time at all. The salient rock can be seen from a great distance already. To get there, we Àrst need to pass Camp Altimur. The fortiÀcation uphill is the home base to Romanian special forces and Afghani National Army. There are Americans here as well. The range has been booked. We just need to sign a document with Americans cofnirming we have familiarity with safety rules and standard operation procedures of the local facility.



Cover photos by Jan Procházka

arrived Prague July 15. NATO highly values Czech contributions to operations Friday. The welcome ceremony also involved the Military Representative of the Czech Republic in NATO and EU. 2010. Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola. Admiral Di Paola with General Picek laid a wreath to the Memorial at Vítkov. After reviewing the Czech Armed Forces Honour Unit.Events The Chairman of NATO Military Committee. July 16. General Vlastimil Picek. 2 . 2010. accompanied by the Chief of General Staff of the Czech Armed Forces. for a two-day visit of the Czech Republic. Admiral Di Paola attended an official welcoming ceremony with military honours in the Honorary Courtyard of the Vítkov National Memorial Memorial. Lieutenant-General Jaroslav Kolkus.

primarily Operation ISAF in Afghanistan. Their discussion focused on operations and primarily the missions in Afghanistan. “The Armed Forces of the Czech Republic has always worked actively in foreign operations and that will continue. In case savings are needed. the Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee had a call on the Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra at the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic. however. “Presently. But Afghanistan remains operational priority number one. they are the same as requirements addressed to all other Allies. fits within the number of service personnel in foreign operations mandated by the Parliament for 2010. it is essential to invest into training Afghani National Security Forces.Admiral Di Paola then met with General Picek at the General Staff for discussions on transformation of Czech Armed Forces and on options available to Czech Armed Forces. Such efforts will however be based on political decisions of our political leaders and will depend on the potential of national economy. and the ongoing transformation of Czech Armed Forces. The new deployment.“ General Picek stressed. A fiftymember team to operate in the Wardak Province in Afghanistan will deploy in a September timeframe. I would like to say that the Alliance is very grateful for all contributions the Czech Republic is providing into operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan. Despite the difficult economic situation impacting on other Allies alike. The Czech Republic will send a new unit to Afghanistan – an operational mentoring and liaison team to provide training to Afghani National Army personnel. and it is up to each NATO nation how those contributions will be realised. not operations. www. The schedule of Admiral Di Paola’s visit also included a brief call with the President of the Czech Republic.“ The Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee also said increasing the number of instructors in Afghanistan was an important moment on the way towards improving security situation in the country. On Friday. NATO remains very grateful for your participation in those efforts. Admiral Di Paola’s military service career has been extremely rich .“ Admiral Di Paola stressed. Secure future of Afghanistan is also a secure future for us.he commanded Cappelini and Sauro submarines as well as Garibaldi aircraft carrier and served in senior positions of the Italian Ministry of Defence and Defence Staff. Their discussion covered the involvement of Czech Armed Officers in international efforts. As to NATO’s requirements addressed to the Czech In a press conference he stated: “As a NATO representative. the restrictions should be done in overhead and administrative functions. General Picek and Admiral Di Paola also touched on modernisation projects underway in the Czech defence photos by Marie Křížová and MoD PIC 3 . Václav Klaus.

General Picek then visited the Commander U. as well as minor shortcomings the contingent is able to handle “inflight“. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE. who told the delegation the Czech helicopter force’s performance had been excellent. ANYTIME – ANYWHERE The first stop was made at the 2nd Czech Armed Forces contingent ISAF – HELI UNIT in the Paktika province in the east of the country. the Chief of General Staff of the Czech Armed Forces.S.Deployed Operations Three days in Operation ISAF General Vlastimil Picek. Lieutenant-Colonel Milan Koutný. Brigadier Charles Martin. All attendees were then invited to tour the mobile maintenance shop that serves for keeping the rotary wing assets serviceable. Addressing the 2nd Czech Armed Forces contingent in line-up. visited with a working group Czech soldiers serving their tours as a part of task forces delivering objectives of Operation ISAF in the territory of Afghanistan. 4 . briefed the members of General Picek’s team on the contingent’s operational capabilities. The motto that your unit boasts: ‘Nothing is impossible. General Picek said: “I arrived to gain familiarity with how the operational assignment is performed here and express my personal support to your duties. Commander of the helicopter unit at Forward Operating Base Sharana. anytime – anywhere‘ are not just words. Task Force Timberwolf and Commander of the base the Czech helicopter unit operates from.“ Along with the contingent commander and other members of his team.

They assess mutual cooperation as exceeding high-quality standards. Personnel of the 5th Czech Armed Forces contingent in Operation ISAF work closely with the civilian component of the Provincial Reconstruction Team. who received a training course completion certificate. The morning meeting involving General Picek and Chief of General Staff of protectors of law and order in the country – regard the certificate award ceremony a very important event. H. the Commander the 3rd Czech Armed Forces NSE contingent.E. Recent numbers show fifty-four Afghans out of 56. So I would add to your motto: and diligence. but also in the field in assigned area of responsibility. You are right. In an informal meeting with Commander ISAF Operation Headquarters General David M. General Picek also met the Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Afghanistan. but you were simply born with precision and organisational skills. propose systemic measures to increase their protection and also present proposals to redress shortcomings and recommendation on implementing lessons-learnt into training or introducing new materiel into inventory. Brigadier General Aleš Opata to General Picek on the final report produced by the Vulnerability Assessment Team (VAT) tasked to evaluate individual areas of vulnerability and weaknesses of deployments in performance of missions and assignments in Operation ISAF.HUMBLENESS – MODESTY – HUMANITY On the second day. Czech instructors spoke about the Afghanis as good marksmen. A new element in the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic was the briefing by Deputy Chief of General Staff – Director of MoD Joint Operations Center. field uniform. gloves. Before his departure to the Czech Republic. the Czech delegation was updated on current situation in Afghanistan. who are also said to display surprising agility on obstacle courses. vehicle checking and countering victim-borne improvised explosive devices. Both the military and civilians conclude: ”Development without security is inconceivable and security without development does not make sense. endeavours in this province. Service personnel of the 3rd Czech Armed Forces contingent and CBRN Defence unit in Operation ISAF surprised the Chief of General Staff with their precision and outstanding organisational skills. handcuffs and sports and protective aids. the Chief of General Staff Czech Armed Forces General Picek continued his inspection visit in the heart of Afghanistan. A short briefing by Lieutenant-Colonel Josef Šimůnek. Aged between 26 and 30 on average. specifically as concerns training Mi-24 helicopter pilots and further opportunities to train pilots on Mi-17 Hinds. The VAT replaced the obsolete system of evaluating and inspection of foreign deployments by the means of methodology assistance and subject-matter inspections that judged mission performance from the viewpoint of peacetime status.S. Petr Pelz. and Colonel Johnson confirmed what you said. and were issued a tactical vest. the Logar province.“ General Picek concluded both his evening briefing and the second day of his inspection trip. Rodriguez. PRECISION AND ORGANISATIONAL SKILLS On the third day of his visit. General Bismillah Khan Mohammadi. that cooperation of Czech soldiers with their U. On the whole. One team – one mission.“ General Picek met both the military and the civilian PRT component. Military Police officers informed him about the need for a higher number of Afghani National Police officers demanded by the Government of Afghanistan and about the necessity to continuously improve training not only on the base. primarily covered cooperation between the two countries. I know your motto is Humbleness – Modesty – Humanity. the Afghans . nor slogan. he made a farewell with them saying: ”You have neither any motto. Communication Manager of the Chief of General Staff ACR 5 . General Picek travelled to the 3rd Czech Armed Forces Contingent NSE and CBRN defence unit in Operation ISAF stationed at KAIA. followed in the afternoon at KAIA. The training they receive focuses on suspect apprehension. “I would like to thank all of you for a job well done.S. not in the perspective of combat deployment of Czech forces in a real operation.“ by Mira Třebická. helmet. colleagues is presently the best of all joint Czech-U. you are evaluated as one of the best PRTs and that is appreciated at all levels. I follow new developments in your area in a very aggravated security situation every day.

I develop plans of official foreign relations for approval by my bosses. I am responsible for coordinating foreign cooperation in the MoD Department and represent the Ministry of Defence on several senior groups in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. a specific share of responsibility. I do not make any distinction among capacities with higher or lower influence. which is increasingly gaining on importance. Any one individual or functionary. we are currently in the process of implementing a brand new planning system while effort is underway to develop the 2012-16 Minister’s Planning Guidance. Often seen among the leadership of the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic. Just several dozen steps and you stand face-to-face with him. be they military professionals or civilian employees. Could you expand on that? For example. I steer the Defence coordination group on foreign cooperation and supervise groups of defence advisors working at Czech Republic’s missions in foreign countries falling into my responsibility. has relevant responsibilities and duties assigned and it is up to the individual what quality standards he or she will perform their job at. in other words. The more demanding however is to find an empty slot in the sequence. my duties include representing the Czech Republic’s interests in the sessions of the High Level Group (HLG) on NATO’s nuclear policy. Furthermore. I am also in charge of MoD positions and documents for the sessions of the National Security Council. including the senior group on NATO command arrangements reform. especially now before the adoption of NATO’s new Strategic Concept. as the schedule of Assistant Deputy Minister of Defence for Foreign Affairs – Director MoD Defence Policy and Strategy Division (DPSD) is extremely busy. In addition to that.Interview for REVIEW Key national defence and security policies and documents on strategic development of the MoD Department alike are developed by the MoD Defence Policy and Strategy Division It just takes one security turnstile and a couple of doors to make it from the Defence Ministry entry gate into the office of Mr. I am in the head of the Defence Ministry’s Defence Policy and Strategy Division and I am assigned completely specific tasks. I sit on the Defence Group on Proliferation (DGP) or attend meetings of both NATO and EU Defence Policy Directors. A Report and Armed Forces Review periodicals have experienced that. and eventually got their forty minutes for an interview. Ivan Dvořák. I approve bilateral cooperation plans. At the moment. committees of the Parliament of the Czech Republic or defence policy related bills to 6 . do you consider yourself a man of influence? I have never understood my endeavour in the MoD Department as some sort of fighting for influence. Apart from that.

The Division comprises of the Defence Policy Department formed by the defence policy section and the international relations section. as well as between NATO and Russia. and the Russian p be presented rese re sent ted di in n se sess sessions ssi ss ions o ions io of f th the e Ca C Cabi Cabinet. we also develop broader-based policy documents. which is indeed the planning timeframe NATO uses. B t. We are building on our analyses and observing strategic goals of international organisations the Czech Republic is a member of. In addition to that. if you will. I can give you the responsibilities for all the mentioned components in detail. The reset of relations between the U. o f the Strategic Development Department with MoD planning and development section.S. of sect cti tio ion an ion d th e in i int nte ternat tern ati tio iona iona nal l re rel lati lati la tion ons on s se cti ct tio ion. which were both approved in 2008. In addition to those two departments. we are expecting to prepare the Czech Republic’s Defence Strategy in the follow-up to NATO’s new Strategic Concept and the prepared White Book on Defence. Let me underscore that the service we provide to top MoD and state officials includes development of subject-matter agenda for their meetings. will be projected in general perception of security and thereby into the 7 . as was the case of MoD Department Longterm vision. abi bine net ne t. Nevertheless. or with a longer outlook. but that would be too much to fit into our periodicals. strategic analyses section and organisational development section. the MoD DPSD comprises three sections: international law section. Could rather you tell how much down the road do you plan? Planning runs in cycles and covers the medium term of five years. We prepare specialist recommendations to inform decision-making. Besides. we are also able to perform rather operative taskings. My apologies. including cooperation with appropriate bodies of Ministries and other governmental agencies. Our projections run at least ten years ahead. many defence personnel do not have a clue what defence policy and strategy of the Ministry of Defence actually entails … MoD DPSD is responsible for shaping principles of the Czech Republic’s defence and security policy. such as the Military Strategy. esid es ides id es. I am charged to lead the secretariat of Defence Planning Committee. We develop the key strategic policies in this respect. es . so I would not like just my person to be in the fore. Next year. which automatically provides the workings. Now. A clearer picture is gained breaking down the Division’s structure. How will the arms reduction treaty recently signed between the United States of America and the Russian Federation affect the Czech MoD’s longterm visions? It will definitely have some impact. of the MoD Department’s strategic development and national defence planning principles. The whole broad MoD DPSD agenda is pursued by many experienced and highly qualified experts. strategic capability development section and national defence planning and crisis management section. ion n.

we want to dedicate a higher attention to the training of Afghani National Security Forces than we have done so far. That is also the case of the mentioned Czech Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) for a Kandak (battalion equivalent) of the Afghan 8 . That will accelerate preparations for the whole process of handing the country gradually over to Afghani National Security Forces and Afghan authorities. The existing analyses and positions may be reviewed. What was the attitude of Admiral Di Paola on the Czech position and the promise to send a training team? Admiral Di Paola has an in-depth familiarity with our plans and he said on several occasions during his visit he highly valued our focus. All senior MoD officials meeting the Admiral reaffirmed the intent despite financial difficulties we have been facing. Development. In the future. consequently. in September later this year as we promised. it is not about a zero-sum game. building the Afghani National Security Forces. Our cooperation should be two-way. Does the authorised number need to filled immediately upon endorsement? The mandate is given for the whole calendar year. A wide range of both political leaders and military commanders visited the Czech Ministry of Defence. We joined Operation ISAF together and we want to leave Afghanistan together as well. because we continue regard Afghanistan a high priority. It is therefore essential to strengthen this dimension. We expect that the situation in Afghanistan was one of the central issues entertained. the Czech Republic builds on four pillars: supporting reconstruction efforts. it even received comments on its signing that we ”have ranked among the elite”. Moreover. Everybody agrees that this year is the key one. Testing and Evaluation? Importance of the agreement is highlighted by the very fact that it was personally signed by defence ministers of the two countries which is not quite commonplace with other agreements. Where do you think the key importance is of the bilateral Agreement on Research. Signing the agreement means both parties reaffirmed their exclusive mutual defence relationship and plus the focus on research and technology enjoys a very high attention on both sides. sustaining deployed forces and deploying special forces.Interview for REVIEW debates on NATO’s Strategic Concept and. Could you elaborate on what those meetings discussed? That is the case. The Parliament of the Czech Republic mandated the Armed Forces to deploy up to 535 service personnel in 2010 as a ceiling. It does not mean that all task forces would deploy at January the first. The discussions chiefly resound the issue of increasing troop contributions by individual NATO nations. Secretary of Defense also signed an important agreement in the beginning of June. The Czech Minister of Defence and the U. an Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) in the Wardak Province. Afghanistan was also one of the topics during discussions with the Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee. who visited the Czech Republic in mid-July. The Eastern part of the country has been the primary location for us to operate and we expect to carry on sending deployments there. We reiterated on a sustained basis that we are committed to working with the Russian Federation.S. especially with a view to deploying training teams and instructors. into national security or indeed defence strategies. Could you comment on this situation in a greater detail? In its efforts in Afghanistan. He also appreciated the fact that we would send. the agreement provides opportunities for organisations and individuals outside the defence sector to become involved in research and development projects. We regard Russia as a partner but the important thing is that Russia would perceive us as a partner too. Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola.

Let us get back to the homeland. Dr. The Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic. do you find there any more reorganisations or restrictions? A major challenge the MoD Department has faced over the past couple of years the instability of defence appropriations. given the body of experience we have assembled developing strategic policy documents and our knowledge of international security environment. Final question. But nevertheless. Possible impacts should already not affect forces in any way. Let us entertain deployed operations some more. and on the other hand we demonstrate to our NATO partners that we are dependable and foreseeable. Alexandr Vondra. certainty for maintaining continuity in foreign and defence policy is important from two perspectives in this respect: on one side. But it is clear at this time that if we want to carry on delivering on our mandatory duties and international commitments. and we have to be able to cope with it.National Army (ANA). By no means does a possible lower number contradict the endorsed mandate. we will still need to cut some structures of the MoD Department. which in fact represents having roughly five and a half thousand Allied soldiers in Kosovo. said in his first interview after assuming the office: ”We also have commitments to our Allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. We plan to conclude the Czech contingent’s eleven years’ of operation then. Those were the reason leading the MoD to initiate amending the system our Parliament employs to authorise mandates for the Czech Armed Forces to deploy our soldiers for operations from one-year to a two-year mandate with outlook for the third day. while we expect to maintain our representation in international staffs there in the years ahead. Alexandr Vondra. What about the future of Czech Armed Forces contingents in Kosovo? Security situation in Kosovo is getting stable. it is an unpleasant situation. Browsing long term visions of the MoD Department. Sir: Minister of Defence. With economic downturn on and public budget deficit increasing. by Pavel Lang and Jan Procházka photos by Jan Kouba and Vladimír Marek 9 . Is such certainty important for your work in the many NATO and national committees? Look. which enables downsizing the KFOR personnel substantially. scheduled for deployment in September later this year. I am confident we have the potential to play an important role in developing the policy document at hand. We have to meet them and not hamper on our credit as a reliable Ally. We need to identify ways and areas with potential for savings to be achieved. That involves components that are essentially non-deployable. who plan and prepare deployments and service personnel actually involved in those operations and missions. but it is for real. We will not see the Czech contingent closing down Camp Sajkovac this year. as we will be taking over the role of battalion-size operational reserve force. for our soldiers. aims to set up a committee comprising military and civilian experts to develop the so-called White Book on Defence. What will be the input the MoD DPSD staff will be providing to what the Minister referred to as the ”fundamental policy document on the future of the Armed Forces“? The specific input for the MoD DPSD to provide into development of this key policy document is naturally left for the Minister to decide. including staffs as well as overhead and administrative components. Recommendation is being developed for proceeding to Gate 2.

Boeing B-707/320 with its hallmark. Having set the four Pratt&Whitney turbofans to take-off mode. Major Milan Vojáček has been an operation pilot of the E-3A AWACS airborne warning and control system aircraft. It is about ninety minutes before today’s destination in Norway is reached. he let loose brakes. starts on the runway and gets airborne soon to climb to its flight level. Major Milan Vojáček.“ instruction from traffic controller sounds in the headset of the pilot. an E-3A Sentry AWACS airplane stands ready. . Germany. ”Cleared for take-off.NATO Integration Since April. runway two seven. while the Czech Republic is in sight of its full membership in the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control program (NAEW&C) In AWACS 10 10 At the runway threshold of NATO airbase nearby Geilenkirchen. the round rotating radar antenna.

over Europe 11 11 .

you need to fly in a relaxed manner despite holding such a mammoth on the yoke.“ The practical experience allows him to compare piloting of Boeing with the dish and the TCA (Training and Cargo Aircraft) seven-o-seven. The final comprehensive piloting techniques test likewise. That encompasses the total of sixteen simulator missions both as a first pilot and as airplane captain. The individual is Major Milan Vojáček. but second time he succeeded. in the right and left seat in the AWACS cockpit – in the position of first pilot and airplane captain in training. His flight training on the old lady with the dish goes on intensively.“ MAJ Vojáček describes with obvious exaggeration the six-month drill in the Training Wing (TW). it represents another huge effort. as the captain. Here. I estimate the captain seat within eighteen months.“ the Czech military pilot says and concludes it was often more demanding to manage piloting the simulator than the real AWACS. The TCA is like a sport car in this respect.“ he laughs and admits in the retrospect that he has not been through anything more demanding in his aviator profession. Squadron personnel change as frequently as every two weeks. “Another clean product of the flight training factory was out. currently a member of the ”Tiger“ 1st Flying Squadron of the NATO E-3A Component based in the vicinity of Geilenkirchen. He joined the 1st Operation Squadron as first pilot. the airplane will respond the way it is expected to. you need to wait patiently for its response after you have taken action. you do not get any alleviation. you rather get some more tasking. Fitfulness is not desirable in flight control. course at the Training Wing. The last day of March. An effective and sophisticated academic training system is continuously overseen by instructors and other flight training specialists. Ranging from the absence of hydraulic actuators during piloting to a long period of time spent onboard. MAJ Vojáček completed the January testing on the sim successfully. “There is no time for ceremonies here. Those going out put beers and pizza on the bar and receive a plaque from the commander. it is much more demanding than I thought it would be. the pilot now takes turns in being seated. After the initial theoretical prologue covering the material part of AWACS. The first day of April was not All Fools’ Day for him but a prestigious day.“ MAJ Vojáček explains and describes what awaits him down the road. If you set the right figures in specific situations. “I need to attain the combat ready status within six months. the so-called simulation stage followed. Everything is based on a good knowledge of the performance parameters. “The airplane is typical with its general inertia.“ MAJ Vojáček elaborates and emphasises the pilot’s professional performance. They cover management of emergencies in flight. It got stuck at the moment on the completion of ground preparation. but primarily he must be able to perform them. in other END TW DRILL “I have gone through hell. again concluded by a test. Germany. The first try that trainees have to pass did not come out well for MAJ Vojáček. he could finally draw a deep breadth and relax a bit as he successfully completed the basic training 12 12 . Having previously served at Kbely.NATO Integration First laurels reaped! The Czech Republic already does have a pilot of the E-3A Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft. But I have already completed several flights on the left. In order for it to become a permanent matter. I need to meet a whole number of other criteria. Incomers just introduce themselves briefly. But that is not the final objective either. from April earlier this year. ”Checking our any of our knowledge and skills may take place anytime. AWACS is a machine working on modes.“ LANDING WITH ENGINE OFF How does it feel like to fly an AWACS? “Frankly. There are defined procedures for all emergencies that pilots have to have appropriate knowledge about. His next assignment was nevertheless more engaging a bit: eight training flights on a real seven-oseven.

Why do we train this? It is reality that has happened on several occasions already. The Czech Republic has a considerable advantage in this respect. We are also planning to provide support to air exercises in the Czech Republic with the E-3A AWACS airplane. ”It is not that easy to find suitable locations for our flight training every day. ”The training mission finale involves an approach at some of the European airports and repeated take-off from the local runway. You get your fifteen minutes of fame and off you go showing what you have learnt. The airplane tended to drive off the runway. Luckily that did not happen. Previous experience with flying the L-39 Albatross trainer jets comes useful. In addition to that. because it is located within an hour’s flight from the designated refuelling area covered by the U. ”We performed repeated takeoff from runway in Geilenkirchen and one engine went off in the most critical phase. Flying with one engine conked out. Denmark. You play using the other three. ”Inflight refuelling is solely the captain’s responsibility. some of the aircraft participate in NATO exercises or undergo maintenance. We only filled in a safety report after landing. Norway. It is like a bass guitar with one string broken. Despite the NATO E-3A Component registers 17 AWACS aircraft in its inventory. That is not a reason to stop training at the component. Aktion (Greece) and Oerland (Norway).“ AWACS aircraft performance data implies that the machine may operate in the area of interest for up to ten hours.words much faster. Major Vojáček is not rather eager to discuss the conk-out. Air National Guard KC-135 tankers. Outsiders may ask what is done to fill that 13 13 . We most frequently operate at airports in the Federal Republic of Germany. You really feel the absence of the radar antenna. We managed to handle it well and we got the machine airborne with three engines. The Czech pilot goes on reviewing his endeavour. But he eventually consents and describes a recent case.“ NEXT CHALLENGE? REFUELLING A view of the apron at the MOB (Main Operating Base) in Geilenkirchen may be surprising to some. The first part is often performed with one engine off. Within four seconds we assessed the situation and performed required action onboard. I am no exception to that. the second one at full throttle on all AWACS engines. the apron is nearly empty.“ he argues. Our reaction needed to be quick and in compliance with regulations. Given the AWACS performance data. Konya (Turkey). His description of the existing flight effort results in at least two conclusions. Why? The machines are deployed at three FOBs (Forward Operating Base) in Trapani (Italy).“ For clear reasons.“ MAJ Vojáček adds and states that air-to-air refuelling training is the next challenge for him. the United Kingdom and Luxembourg.S. you are readying yourselves another one may go off and you will be landing with two engines on only. we have specific limits for landings and takeoffs.

you stand a real chance of getting into green figures overall.“ argues the Czech Air Force pilot. The only step to be taken is the administrative measure. still before the door. Counting in my excellent family and onehundred percent service provided by the Czech support component at Joint Force Command Headquarters in Brunssum. for whom the multinational environment of the unit in Geilenkirchen became its second home. Bednář. its Armed Forces and chiefly for Czech enterprises to join industrial cooperation programs. Bednář. The first one. The other one called Industry Participation is the part where direct involvement of Czech manufacturing centers comes into play. In practical terms: if you meet all the tough conditions applying mainly to aerospace industries.“ As if this opening statement by Mr. heralded the whole contents of the interview. substantial changes he says. we seek to cover both industrial cooperation groups. but it is essential to identify areas for Czech involvement to consider already at this stage. about the Czech engagement. Bednář.the signature permitting the Czech Republic to fully accede – would take place without any obstacles. Their frequency and type is not limited. there was every indication that the final act . we practise emergency procedures onboard.“ the Czech representative said and elaborated: ”The Czech Republic participates in sessions of nearly all groups. this is the question of ”possible future cooperation “ according to Mr. be it in the observer role or as a full member of the NAEW&C programme. In windows where there are no flight activities involving combat aircraft. “The NAEW&C program is one a few projects you do not only contribute in. “My colleagues’ positive attitude and their selfless help in any situation are a great impulse for me. as contributing nation that seeks to make use of all possibilities the program is offering. engages in the sphere of flight operations support.NATO Integration period of time? ”We support the so-called mission crew. We spoke with Mr. “Specific project assignments are pursued there. Netherlands. the Industry Benefit Group. the Czech representative in the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) Program Management Organisation (NAPMO) headquartered in Brunssum. de iure if you will the act of signing and formal affirmation of our accession to the program. Other nations involved in the programme. ”I had a chance to gain insight into many circumstances and details. Jiří Bednář. whose knowledge and understanding enables us a more quality engagement.“ PERMANENT OPTIMISM “I am still optimistic about an early membership for the Czech Republic in the NAEW&C programme. regards the Czech Republic a member as De facto a matter of fact. I am managing to accomplish my professional assignments. but can also benefit from. the first half of 2010 was marked with big. at the beginning of December last year. It is definitely not boring to be on an operation flight. who was posted here by the MoD Defence Policy and Strategy Division. At that time. those opportunities represent a range of offers for the Czech Republic. such as cockpit modernisation. The positive aspect is the Czech Republic enjoys the treatment as a member. . those seventeen permanent members. For the time being.“ Despite we are still an observer on the programme. ”The signing has not occurred yet because of purely administrative reasons. Netherlands.“ Indeed. No work – no rewards applies fully.“ For Mr.

I am in close contact with experts back in Prague. But it is for sure that our engagement enjoys visibility and we have many opportunities to strengthen our role. i. the meetings of various committees see the attendance of experts from many Czech MoD components and agencies. Despite the Czech Republic and its Armed Forces having only one permanent representative at the NAPMO headquarters in Brunssum. Bednář unveils what is behind the scenes in Brunssum and adds: ”Everything must be suited to operating as a part of traffic over Europe.simulator modernisation as well as installation and use of state-of-the-art navigation systems. The traffic in European airspace is very dense and military aircraft must be able to operate in the domain of civil aviation. our office doors both at Brunssum and Geilenkirchen are open. the Force Development Division. which is expected soon. Bednář says by the way of conclusion. namely from the MoD Armaments Division.signing the Czech Republic’s full membership in the NATO AEW&C programme. high-capacity data transmission systems.“ Mr. the NAEW&C programme is not just about science and technology. and adds: “I am just a feeler that identifies problems and. the MoD Defence Policy and Strategy Division. but primarily about involvement of people. ”There is a common interest to maintain the good credit the Czech Republic has managed to win.“ Mr.“ So. based on my understanding of the matter at hand. by Pavel Lang and Jan Procházka photos by Jan Kouba and NATO E-3A Component 15 15 .“ Nevertheless. specifically military experts of various occupational specialties into training and subsequent operational missions in the instance of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic. A member of Czech Air Force is scheduled to join the Training Wing to start training as a navigator in August. It only takes the notional legal act . specialist operators of various early warning and control systems onboard AWACS. while the assignment of additional two Czech specialists is planned in December timeframe to man the mission crew.e.

which also arises from the fact that the helicopters many countries currently operate are not technically suited to today’s operational environments or are close to the end of their life. Along with the helicopter initiative.Multinational Effort Czech Republic successful in addressing major NATO challenge Prague was the venue to a two-day international conference on the helicopter initiative named HIP Helicopter Conference 2010 . international trust fund was created under the lead of the United Kingdom for individual nations to provide funds in support of projects increasing the quantity of helicopters usable in operations. The Czech Republic is leading the helicopter initiative effort that is designed to help NATO tackle the lack of transport helicopters. The trust fund helped finance the special equipment the Czech Republic integrated on the upgraded Mi171Sh helicopters. while acquisition of new machines is both time-consuming and costly.Benefits of Future Synergies in Multinational Efforts. “We have successfully modernised five Mi-171Sh helicopters and deployed three of them 16 .

the twoday conference was primarily a lesson sharing exercise according to Mr. training facilities or maintenance capacity to meet the common goal. That effort is also supported by countries not operating Mi helicopters. “We are presently offering our services to Hungary and Bulgaria. Apart from representatives of individual nations. According to the Director of MoD Defence Policy and Strategy Division. Turkey and Norway. Jan Fulík and Ivan Dvořák agreed the conference was highly successful. Taking place in Prague from March 2nd. Spain. but they had not proceeded as far as the Czech Republic did. Afghanistan starting January 2010 to provide air mobility for both NATO Allies and the Czech Provincial Reconstruction Team. The Czech Republic is currently in position to share its know-how with other NATO nations. ”It is matter of days before the U. pilots and ground personnel.“ Deputy Defence Minister for Foreign Affairs Jan Fulík said.“ Dvořák said.“ stated Jan Fulík and added that those countries were also considering deployment of their helicopters in Afghanistan. the U. it may also entail the accession of other countries. They said individual contributions confirmed that especially international cooperation on capability development was the most effective way ahead. Fulík.S. but providing financial contributions. Ivan Dvořák. designers.S. and outlined ways for working together to provide helicopter logistic support and training crews on international level. the initiative also associates big nations with large defence budgets: the United Kingdom. ”At the end of the day. ratify their accession to the agreement. The helicopter initiative the Czech Republic is leading has ten members so far. who rank among the true elite. The conference enhanced the joint effort to increase quantity of operationally usable helicopters. the conference was attended by leading officials and experts of both NATO and the European Defence Agency. 2010. by Olga Haladová 17 . membership in the initiative would bring both prestige and engagement of world’s leading scientists. Apart from V4 states.“ Jan Fulík unveiled.

pilots from the Přerov and Náměšť Air Force Bases focused on practising operational and tactical procedures used in deployed operations.Predeployment Training The AZOR exercise put readiness of helicopter aircrews to a test prior to their deployment for operations in Afghanistan Mountains and Sand 18 Helicopter aircrews of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic underwent preparation for operational deployment in Afghanistan in northern Spain for three weeks in June. . especially in ISAF. In the international exercise AZOR 2010.

Checking Czechs 19 .

rules and procedures having a potential to hamper on combined operations by multinational formations.230 km from Prague) and by air with stopover in Phalsbourg. this area was assigned to the European Defence Agency (EDA) to focus its primary efforts on. In addition to that. ”The greatest challenge EDA seeks to pursue as a part of planned exercises and symposiums is work to progressively do away with differences in effective national flight standards. a defence advisor of the Permanent Delegation of the Czech Republic in the European Union. “As a part division of labour between NATO the European Union.“ The historically first multinational helicopter exercise. AB-212. AZOR 2010 was not a Czech-only event. France. Sweden.“ COL Šebesta stated. France. Slovenia. had taken place prior to the approval of the concept in March 2009 in French Alps with participation of helicopters and aircrews from Belgium. While the exercise in Spain. Spain.Predeployment Training A 55-member Czech Armed Forces contingent travelled to the exercise venue. “The focus of individual exercises should differ in order to progressively practise as many operational procedures as possible. The Armed Forces of Austria. “The exercise is designed to train helicopter aircrews in mountain flights and mountain landings at elevations exceeding two thousand metres above sea level as well as take-offs and landings in dusty environments both day and night with night vision goggles . According to Vladimír Šilhan. the need to upgrade the helicopter systems to standards required for operations in challenging and dangerous environments is as important as training helicopter aircrews to be able to perform such operations. the effort in Italy is to practise joint tactics. 20 .“ Vladimír Šilhan specifies and goes on to say: “The EDA Steering Board in the format of Defence Ministers of participating Member States endorsed the Helicopter Training Program (HTP) for aircrew training already in November 2009 envisioning two helicopter exercises and a specialised symposium to be held on annual basis. ”Four aircrews slated for the third rotation will be replaced with their colleagues from the fourth contingent manning the HELI UNIT. specifically as a part of the third and fourth rotation of the Czech HELI UNIT at Sharana base and in the Air Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) in Kabul. techniques and procedures for support helicopters and multinational missions performed by various types of rotary wing aircraft together. the Czech force commander. Aircrews from the Přerov and Náměšť air units comprise Czech Armed Forces personnel scheduled for deployment in Afghanistan. the Logrono-Agoncillo airbase in Spain. The grass apron at the Logrono-Agoncillo Main Operation Base offered a review of A-109. Beginning in 2011. Belgium. AS532 or SH3-D Sea King rotary-wing aircraft. the Czech Republic. and specifies that the flight personnel on ”one-seven-ones” would be replaced halfway through the exercise. for instance. NH-90. the United Kingdom and Spain also sent helicopter units with hardware for such specialised training. The flight formation comprised three Mi-171Sh helicopters and two Mi-24/35 gunships. accentuated individual aircrew training. the lack of operationally usable transport helicopters is one of the most critical shortfalls both NATO and EU are tackling. two rehearsals for Afghanistan will be performed in a single helicopter exercise. As a matter of fact. Sweden and Belgium have offered training areas suitable for organising training events and Germany volunteered to arrange the simulation exercise. Hungary and Spain in French Alps in March 2009. I regard it a highly effective way to gain additional practical experience.NVGs. Italy. the HTP document envisions to transition to organising two exercises a year. JOINT PROJECT AZOR 2010 International Exercise is one of the outcomes of a close cooperation between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union. AS-332. both on land (some 2. Italy.“ Colonel Šilhan says.“ says Colonel Jaromír Šebesta. which was conducted in a winter environment.

each eac captain of the three Czech helicopters chos chose his spot and starts practising that involves s several repeated landings and take-offs in the dust. Republic This year’s winter helped us in that sense. In a moonscape-like area. each nation is allocated its three of four windows of the day to perform missions in its assigned territory. “Helicopter Group Czech ready to take off direction runway three zero. Hungary.m. The project involves the United Kingdom. Sweden and Luxembourg. All of the pilots have already flown a number of exercises that sim simulated dust back in the Czech Republic. The flying is very similar.m. EDA runs a complementary activity – the project of tactical helicopter simulation courses (designated Interim Synthetic Helicopter Tactics Course – ISHTC). Aircrews perform engine test and system check.“ ou Colonel Šebesta elabora elaborates. they take turns to overfly to the RWY and take positions in a row. In the preflight brief.With special emphasis on aircrew training. “Sure w we are not going in for it without prepping ourselves. to be organised in a matter of two to three next years according to curricula and tactics taught in the United Kingdom at the UK Joint Helicopter Command. minimum speed.“ states the commander of Czech sta Armed Forces helicopter contingent. rotor blades on two oneseven-ones and one thirty-fiver are just beginning to spin. Flight activities start at 9 a. Meanwhile. There is a high quantity of machines here for the exercise and the thing is to distribute the operating areas among ourselves in an optimal manner.“ captain of the lead machine reports. Following a testing hover in ground effect to test correct powerplant performance. Flight personnel have pr prepared themselves for these specific activities on a consistent basis according to prescribed methodology and San Gregorio is metho only th the finale. Slovenia. offers the following description: “In the final stage of landing landin you are getting to altitude of several metres at a. The pilot still hangs on his reference point on the ground re and listens for the instructions by the gunner who in 21 . A couple of seconds later. Helicopter aircrews ”fly dust“ here. ”The number of helicopters every y nation may send to action at a time e is limited to three. helico What is peculiar a about flying in the dust? Major Robert P. There was a good quantity se of powde powder snow. which enabled us to increase t training intensity. the Czech Republic. and often last as late as till 4 a. THE CZECH HELICOPTER GROUP San Gregorio is a training area located approximately two hundred kilometres from Logrona. all of them m set off for the allocated route into one of f the zones in the local military training area. The European Defence Agency promised the Czech Republic to enjoy the highest priority in allocation of course slots this year with respect to its urgent operational requirements.

“ Captain Ladislav B. To complete the picture: the aircrew performs about two landings on average in one flight window into dust in various location of the Spanish training area. Although lessons our colleagues in the first and second rotation in Afghanistan learnt conclude that they mostly land on paved areas. we must get the simulation as real as possible. Everything is based on the light conditions: if they are good. The intake of dust at night is much bigger than at day. That may however only last a limited period of time.“ 22 . If you make a slightest mistake. “Regarding the conditions they will be performing their mission in whilst in Afghanistan. two Mi-171Sh aircrews are up for night flights using NVGs. Otherwise. who presently fulfils operational assignment in Operation ISAF in Afghanistan. “Each number two seeks to land before number one. Some of them have already been through flying in French mountain environment. Instances of undesired contact with the ground are frequent. we must be ready for all contingencies. but they have to gain additional experience prior to their upcoming deployment as an OMLT team. We must be in the right place at the right time. Areas around the Santa Cilia for mountain flying and in vicinity of San Gregorio airbase for dusty flights in Spain are very close to reality on the ground in Afghanistan. Landing of a pair of Mi171Sh and flights with NVGs generated substantially higher levels of adrenalin with involved persons. We also practise that one machine lands into the dust and the other one provides cover from the air before possible enemy fire. and here we fly from two up to three kilometres above sea level. it looks like spilt milk. The manoeuvre must be performed exactly according to relevant procedures. for whom the HELI UNIT in Afghanistan is already the fourth foreign tour. The leader always has to keep in mind that he has the second machine at his back and manoeuvre accordingly.“ says the experienced military pilot. AT NIGHT AND WITH GOGGLES As a matter of fact. The use of helicopter lights is also critical. it is not acceptable at Sharana. DUST LIKE SNOW San Gregorio is the premiere event for the pilots of thirty-fivers from Náměšť to fly in sandy environment.“ states squadron chief navigator. “The wingman must not let the lead lose. “There is a big difference between flying at day and at night.“ pilots of the 23rd Helicopter Air Force Base say in unison. with fiftymetre clearance between their rotors.Predeployment Training leans out of the door. After familiarisation flights at day. while he must observe the horizontal and vertical separation limits. it is necessary to follow the procedures that have a single primary focus – not to endanger one another with the dust cloud. Practical experience of the helicopter captain and a concerted effort of the whole crew onboard is what matters. There is neither time for experimentation nor for waiting. In the Czech Republic. get off the cloud and repeat landing. all the light emitted by the chopper is reflected into the goggles and reduces its effectiveness. generally one or two seconds. We go together at 450 feet above the ground that has a completely different profile than in the Czech Republic and it is therefore critical to perform all actions with double precision. because every landing is unique. pilots see near real-world picture in NVGs in grey on a green background. Then the machine must safely transition into climb. If you get into a cloud. there is no stereotype. On touch-down in group with both one-seven-ones going into the same spot at the same time. we are able to get as high as thirteen hundred metres. explains and points out some specificities of night operations. While little mistakes may creep in here in San Gregorio. And those are standard flight operation altitudes for the Air OMLT flight effort. you get packed at once and you lose visual contact with the ground. Although we have been training it all week long. the above-mentioned example involving a single helicopter was not the most demanding episode in exercise AZOR 2010.

who has already served one four-month tour at the Kabul International Airport. helicopter captains are able to check on their own in many instances whether their chosen way would lead them to a touch-down in the dust or not. acting as the host nation. “We have drilled landings in snow back in the Czech Republic. They can see immediately whether they have mastered it or not.“ It was important for organising the logistic support that NATO and EU procedures and standards were already “very close“ to each other and it was not a problem to coordinate with NATO nations’ and EU member states’ armed forces’ officers. has been involved in all key phases of preparations. the attendance on the exercise was to involve nine nations with nearly fifty helicopters and eight hundred personnel in total. necessary helicopter spare parts and essential provisions to provide full maintenance and service.“ BRILLIANT LOGISTIC SUPPORT Officers in charge of logistic support. by Pavel Lang and Jan Procházka photos by Jan Kouba 23 .“ Major Dostalík expands. Containers for storing and transportation are a standard in many NATO and EU member states.“ said Major Dostalík at the Spanish airbase and commented on the Czech participation: ”At the main planning conference held already here at Logroňo. It does not really matter whether you complete ten or twelve landings in an hour. The advantage for supporting the Czech helicopter unit was that Spain. Either they land safely on the ground or they have to take the helicopter out of the dust cloud using instruments. the key is an effective sequence of action. ISAF the associated priorities and requirements for training in dusty and mountain environments. who has a long-standing experience with coordinating logistic support to helicopter units. which was also proven in the AZOR 2010 international helicopter exercise. so it was neither difficult nor time-consuming to fill them in. “There is a single standard form for logistic support used throughout the NATO Alliance. Although procedures used for landing in sand and in dust are nearly identical. we negotiated the possibility to send fifty-five personnel and five helicopters for the exercise from the Czech Republic. when initial discussions took place in Brussels. whose mission was to ensure that helicopter aircrews and technical personnel had all provisions necessary. “We will again seek to initiate procurement of containers and suitable boxes ensuring a safe storage of movement-sensitive materiel. A new form was specifically created here at Logrono. which did not differ substantially from the NATO form. With respect to the Czech helicopter contribution to ISAF. “We only moved in basic materiel. Major Tobiáš Dostalík.concludes Major Petr Juračka. the experienced pilot of the 221st helicopter Squadron is happy with any flight conducted. “Preparations for the exercise have been underway already from December last year.“ MAJ Dostalík says.“ the logistician adds. the Czech unit’s participation in the AZOR 2010 international exercise reconfirmed that storing and transporting necessary materiel using containers was the right way ahead. but whilst here. we were told that our limit would be fifty personnel and three helicopters. provided a number of support elements. In terms of supporting the involved units logistically. were largely involved in preparing for the exercise already from the initial planning conference. According to initial exercise intent.

populations suffer from more serious emergencies and natural disasters. not only on the level of municipalities. “In a slight overstatement. no matter whether you achieve it through several days’ presentation of the issue in a conference room or during a coffee chat. Apart from smaller accidents. ”I carry on pursuing the same issues as in my previous capacities. but from international perspective. not from national MoD. He engaged in CM back in the Czech Republic and continues to do so now as a defence attaché of the Permanent Delegation of the Czech Republic in NATO at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels. The Czech representative at the NATO Headquarters charged with crisis management is Mr. It cannot be just a blind shot. it entails approving position by colleagues representing other nations. Organisations involved in consequence management follow procedures defined in crisis plans.Contingency Planning Crisis Management “Brussels style“ Emergencies may occur anytime and anywhere. I consult positions and documents with officials of the Czech Ministry of Defence. “Any idea to be pushed through demands a broader support on the plenum. the difference is that the current range of issues is broader and on a more senior level. but also on the strategic political-military level: at NATO and the European Union. I would refer to myself as an information service for the Ambassador of the Czech Republic in NATO. My duties naturally involve acting in several specialist working groups in the International Staff. it encompasses nuclear planning and cyber defence. For instance. Miroslav Šedý. In a way. In reality.“ Miroslav Šedý says and specifies the targets of his activity. it is about diplomatic skills of the officer in 24 24 . it is possible to take a peak behind scenes. It is solely up to you to win allies over to your side. I prepare current positions and proposals primarily for the ambassador regarding possible activities the Czech Republic would take to resolve military crisis situations.“ THE CZECH INPUT Thanks to openness of the Czech defence advisor. that is not the name of the game here. primarily with the MoD Defence Policy and Strategy Division.

as a NATO training centre. This ‘cook book‘ is valid for all NATO nations. it operatively responds with adequate measures.To complete the picture. It is indeed the first NATO institution on multinational basis to be located in the Czech Republic’s territory.. The Czech defence advisor rejects the objection that it may perhaps be too much theory and too little practice. 25 25 .“ emphasises M. Following on new threats. and established July 1st. At the point when domestic rescuer is no longer able to manage the emergency. 2006. Training is done real-time using a scenario with highly likely emergency and without actually deploying troops. it should be noted that the manual is not a constant document. the Czech Republic delivers its commitments to enhance NATO nations’ defences.“ Miroslav Šedý explains and states that the subject matter area where the Czech Republic is able to offer most to the Alliance is the defence against weapons of mass destruction (CBRN defence).“ he says and adds that each of the nations contributes its part to the resolution of the crisis while declaring its time limits within which its national assigned forces and assets are able to deploy. The papers also bear the CZ hallmark. Radiological and Nuclear Defence Centre of Excellence based in Vyškov. The model operation is preceded by several planning conferences of involved bodies and agencies. In case an emergency cannot be managed using local forces and assets. “The recent NATO Summit endorsed a policy document defining NATO priorities in this subject matter area for the upcoming period. we will put his foreign colleagues next to him to help him cope. U. including international humanitarian organisations.“ by Pavel Lang and Jan Procházka photos by Radko Janata question. “In case of emergency. ”Not everybody realises that the Vyškov centre is NATO’s principal expert advisor on CBRN defence. Biological. Another example is the Joint Chemical. we have such arrangements in place that guarantee delivery of the most effective aid.S. it is possible to request international aid. Czech Republic. NATO MODEL OPERATION Emergencies know no borders. including from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.“ the defence advisor relishes. Šedý and adds that by building and operating the centre.“ our host says and points out the key crisis response manual – the NCRS: NATO Crisis Response System. Our proposals will be integrated into individual nations’ crisis management plans. certified by Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk. ”It is a manual assigning code designations to crisis situations with subsequent measures to be taken to manage the emergency successfully. ”Preparedness of NATO crisis management bodies is regularly tested by the means of procedural exercises conducted in fictive geopolitical environment in a fictive state territory and most frequently they seek to improve security situation of citizens in given country.

presently with a staff of two: Colonel Lubor Koudelka and Mr. thereby occupying a prominent position in the European security architecture.International Security Caring for Security and Cooperation The conception quite a considerable part of the public have of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) may b be rather th bi biased d and d incomplete. Both these 26 . One of the organisational components here is the military advisors section. the European Union and the United Nations. A neat building in Penzingerstrasse No. next to other international organisations such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. OSCE and other international organisations. It is the world’s largest regional intergovernmental organisation that focuses on security issues and associates 56 states. The personnel serving at the OSCE also include employees of the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic. Vladimír Krška. 11–13 in Vienna houses both the Embassy of the Czech Republic and the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the UN.

“ Col. that is checking correctness of provided information in the form of inspections. Ambassador Veronika Kuchyňová Šmigolová.“ FIFTY-SIX SIGNATORIES “In the political-military field.“ relishes the Head of the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the UN. Japan. Those are highly erudite professional opinions that I can lean on during the discussions I am involved in. which in practise means non-providing of Russian exchange information and not accepting inspections in the Russian territory. Central Asian and the United States of America and Canada. ”Advisories. including Egypt. Besides signatories. He underscores that the Czech Republic regards OSCE an important part of European security architecture and supporting the OSCE activities is a high priority of the Czech Republic’s foreign policy. also legally binding Open Skies Treaty. which provided the basis for decommissioning an immense quantity of selected kinds of conventional weapons in Europe. OSCE and other international organisations. the OSCE activities primarily focus on confidence building and strengthening security cooperation among member states. include deliberations associated with Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE-T) and Open Skies Treaty (OST). “The CFE-T. including arms control and disarmament. I find cooperation with them absolutely seamless. Israel. positions and recommendations they develop are fully professional. Korea and Australia. which currently sees the participation of 34 27 . those include Caucasian.“ the chief of military advisors section explains. Contrarily. Koudelka. Lubor Koudelka describes the mission of the international security organisation that mostly associates European countries. Afghanistan. “Apart from states in Europe. and adds: ”The Czech MoD sent very experienced and highquality experts here and I highly appreciate that.“ Col.employees of the MoD Defence Policy and Strategy Division were sent into Vienna for a three-year tour associated with activities in OSCE. builds on three preventive steps – limitation of arms quantity.“ he states and points out that the Russian Federation suspended all measures of the effective and legally binding CFE Treaty two years ago with its single-purpose law. effective relations prevail in connection with the second document. Jordan. for whom Austria is the third service tour abroad after Liberia and Iraq. OSCE activities also involve the input from so-called Mediterranean and Asian cooperation partners. “Other CFE-T signatories presently seek the ways out of this complicated situation caused by the unilateral and legally very disputable step Russia took. an information exchange system and verification system. Responsibilities of Lubor Koudelka.

has been made available to the OSCE. Some states do not hesitate to use the socalled veto. there are countless additional meetings to coordinate joint positions.“ Lubor Koudelka says. apart from CFE-T and OST related decisions. do not constitute legal obligation. Trust me: this is not easy in the format of fifty-six countries. In addition to deliberations. DELIBERATIONS IN THE HOFBURG PALACE Thanks to openness of involved parties. Disapproval by one of the signatories may block any decision. “An in-depth knowledge of OSCE documents and treaties. ”We have optimal provisions here in Hofburg for all working meetings. it is not possible to radically push own positions in all circumstances. Current discussions in OSCE also entertain the creation of a joint observation aircraft fleet to be used by mutliple state parties. Obviously. any discussions military or defence advisors are involved in at the OSCE must be preceded by a demanding preparation. Having fulfilled security requirements. In order for us to make progress then. because all OSCE decisions are adopted on the basis of consensus and. “Aerial monitoring is costly. today premises housing the seat of the President of Austria .“ the head of military advisors section expands. ”Another level of skill is the art of compromise.the Hofburg. we may take a look inside the main conference hall of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and several bilateral rooms.“ 28 . It is not affordable for every signatory to operate its own observation airplane. A part of the large premises there. Koudelka explains and specifies that issues relating to CFE-T implementation are deliberated usually once week in the session of the Joint Consultative Group (JCG) and relevant decisions associated with OST are taken once a month in the format of the Open Skies Consultative Commission (OSCC). is the minimum basis for participation in discussions. specifically the Congress Center. or indeed practical measures by NATO nations or European Union Member States. Including for these reasons. The scene is set by the former Imperial Palace. which often entails a highly challenging process of negotiation.International Security state parties (the former Czechoslovakia ratified OST in 1992 and Czech Republic has an obligation under OST to accept on its territory up to four observation flights a year and request as many observation flights over other states’ territories). but political commitment. which is also the Czech experience. including amendments. there is a unique opportunity to visit the OSCE headquarters in Vienna. it is essential to act prudently.“ Col.

This begs the question: this or that OSCE treaty is endorsed by the state parties and it is incumbent upon all signatories to meet the obligations. That is what is deliberated in Vienna: how to lay down maximum reciprocity possible in providing and obtaining defined information from other State Parties. ten years plus have passed from signing of some of the key OSCE documents and not only political and military. At the table. Moreover. “Any work in international environments brings new lessons. I am particularly pleased that in the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe.“ Lubor Koudelka concludes. It is therefore essential to embrace reality and consider upgrading them in some instances. the Czech Republic is regarded a reliable partner and signatory meeting all its duties under adopted international treaties. so what is the problem? “One thing is to sign the treaty. As a matter of fact. He rather switches to personal experience. by Pavel Lang and Jan Procházka photos by Marie Křížová 29 . its practical implementation is a different story.“ concludes Colonel Lubor Koudelka. but also technology developments have taken place in this field since then. it is the question of a broad multinational span in Vienna. As a representative of the Czech Republic. Their opinions on the promotion of collective security and/or reestablishment of stability and peace in war zones are very unique and original indeed. But everything must always be based on the principle of fulfilling the existing commitments and duties first and only then proceed to undertaking new commitments and measures. which may be a problem in certain instances. The head of military advisors sections is not willing to discuss the tactics followed in attaining consensus. The Czech Republic is a respected OSCE Member State and the MoD component of the Permanent Mission in Vienna tries to contribute its humble part to that. especially with a view to the lack of political will some State Parties display. you meet representatives of countries you would definitely not encounter at NATO or EU headquarters in Brussels.

International Security Ideas to deliver effects in field Although the military advisor of the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the UN. The platform for discussing. But it is not about territorial solidarity here. Confidence building and development of security cooperation among the state parties must take place across the board. Mr.“ states the military advisor and notes that all state parties have the same status and decisions are taken unanimously. Vladimír Krška. FOCUS ON ARMS Functional areas falling into the basket of Mr. has not even been through one-third of his tour in Vienna. however. the course of action taken must be frequently coordinated with the European Union and NATO member states. but primarily proposing and coordinating issues associated with the above topics. ”I know from my previous service experience how challengin it may often be to find common ground on a legal or military-security issues with the other party in bilateral relation. is 30 30 . Mr. including arms control and disarmament. ”Besides representatives of European countries at large. In OSCE halls. Krška is an erudite defence expert in international law and a true professional with experience from two tours in observer missions in Angola. Vladimír Krška include arms control and disarmament as well as broader matters of confidence and security building (CSBMs: Confidence and Security Building Measures). and so it is much more difficult to achieve consensus. OSCE and other international organisations.“ Regional communities of signatories are not an unwritten rule in negotiation at OSCE.that drives your negotiating strategy. there are representatives behind the table of Caucasian and Central Asian states. He is therefore able to put his experience to an effective use in deliberations with representatives of fifty-six State Parties of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Moreover. the United States of America and Canada as well as so-called Mediterranean and Asian partners for cooperation.“ Vladimír Krška says and describes negotiation tactics. or you raise a strongly overstated proposal. he definitely does not show any novice-like shyness in deliberating European security and cooperation issues. Depending on situation. you decide whether you elect to make concession on your side in exchange for a concession on their part. “The key is what you want to achieve on a given subject . in a much broader international forum. There are substantially more opinions on matters at hand. you pursue security and cooperation issues. from which you progressively withdraw to achieve nevertheless what you wanted.

OSCE security activities are also realised through Field Missions Missions (FM). “From my responsibilities. but later on as well. while others propose a major modernisation of the document. the Czech Republic consistently meets all of its commitments and duties under international disarmament treaties and agreements developed as a part of OSCE. Krška. That is not the case because there are concrete measures underpinning a whole number of projects. Krška specifies and adds that FM responsibilities include both aid in developing civic society. and inspections into assigned areas in their territories. in South Caucasus and in Central Asia. The presidency rotates on four-month basis among the state parties and the FSC resolves in the form of so-called decisions. customs officers and border guard. especially at the end of the Cold War. It is an important activity. “Those are located in four regions of the OSCE area: in the Balkans. as UN statistics show abusing small arms kills about seven hundred and forty thousand people worldwide yearly. which in a way complement one another and set obligations for OSCE member states regarding numbers of conventional weapons. adding that several key agreements were sealed under the OSCE auspices that have largely contributed. Open Skies Treaty and Vienna Document 1999). even more alarming is the factor that nearly half a million victims are people in countries not suffering from local conflicts. In other words. In reality. established as an independent OSCE decision-making body in 1992. one of the basic pillars of European security. the scope of exchanging military information and verification of how commitments are met. support to democratisation efforts. My primary domain is the development of specialist technical positions. let me mention the projects disposing surplus small arms and light weapons or surplus stock of conventional munitions the OSCE has realised primarily in Eastern Europe. on the Caucasus and in Central Asia. Issues of implementing the Vienna Document 1999 are pursued as a part of the Forum for Security Cooperation.“ states Mr.“ Mr.“ the Czech military advisor Vladimír Krška explains. “Some signatories only want cosmetic changes. to maintaining security on the European continent. in Eastern Europe. it accounts for two-thirds of people killed in no war zones. SPECIFIC PROJECTS AS WELL Activities of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe may appear as a “big theory“. by Pavel Lang and Jan Procházka photos by Marie Křížová 31 31 . rule of law and human rights as well as training local police.“ the military advisor says. FSC meets regularly once a week in some of the conference halls of the former Hofburg Imperial Palace with the timing of the session being determined by the forum presiding country. that also means that member states are obliged to accept so-called verification visits at military units and facilities. There have been very intensive discussions in recent years on possible modernisation of some VD-99 measures to reflect political-military developments.the Forum for Security Cooperation (FSC). It should be noted that responsibilities of the two military advisors to the Czech Permanent Mission in Vienna are discussions related to three treaties (the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty. The largest OSCE Field Mission presently operates in the territory of Kosovo. “Regarding the process of arms control and disarmament.

WITH THE SUPPORT OF NAMSA − NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency .

technology trends. interoperability. and operational readiness. research agencies and accademia from NATO and PfP nations. logistics • Digital Battlefield FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE . NATO Exhibition Slovakia CCIE 2003 and FUTURE SOLDIER Czech Republic 2008. as well as Mediterranean Dialogue countries. Partnership for Peace program and the Mediterranean Dialogue countries. Other international countries with developments in soldier technologies are also warmly invited to attend. Officials and Industry attending will be able to meet relevant procurement staffs from most NATO nations' armed forces. It is attended by representatives of national acquisition centers. dealing with military field equipment and personal equipment items.INVITATION On 14th-16th October 2010. The private and public sector are able to come together to appreciate the ever more demanding requirements for modern military equipment involving innovation. • Operational and protective clothing • Body armour • Load carriage • CBRN protection and personal detection • Common communications systems • Electro optical sighting and vision • Digital mapping and situation awareness • Personal weapon systems • C4I management and structures • Non-lethal weapons and riot control • Power sources • Friend and foe recognition • Simulation and virtual reality for training • Battlefield/Infrastructure support equipment. the Czech Republic will be hosting the second FUTURE SOLDIER Exhibition and Conference in Prague at the PVA Exhibition centre. shelters. This exhibition follows very successful events such as the NATO CCPE 2000 Prague. attracting the attendance of subject matter specialists in defence and standardisation. industry. PARTICIPANTS The FUTURE SOLDIER exhibition concept is highly focused. It is now organised under the auspices of the National Armaments Director of the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic.

“ reports the chief of CIMIC group. fighting in built-up areas. who will form the core of the Czech Armed Forces 6th Provincial Reconstruction Team in Logar from August 2010 till February next year. “The U.S. they prepared for their upcoming missions in International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in the territory of Afghanistan. Lieutenant Miroslav Tomiczek to the Commander 6th PRT Task Force Lieutenant-Colonel Ctirad Gazda and goes into detail: ”Realisation of individual phases involves a number of small Afghani enterprises in the Kandahar province. mostly from the 7th Mechanised Brigade. and Czech units on the exercise were getting into highly realistic combat situations. countering improvised explosive devices and providing convoy security together with US Army forces.Predeployment Training The Drill that’s going to Pay Some 460 service personnel of the Armed Force of the Czech Republic have completed a three-week special training exercise prior to their deployment in Afghanistan in large areas of the Joint Multinational Readiness Centre (JMRC) training facility located nearby Hohenfels. specifically of the 74th Light Motorised Battalion and 72nd Mechanised Battalion. Our junior commanders were able to discuss planning processes and tactical procedures with their peers while soldiers compared their level of readiness.“ specifies Colonel Jan Hlaváč. the US Army training area was the venue to one of the biggest exercises to involve Czech soldiers in recent years. In other words. representatives. “Besides joint patrols and most varied incidents. It was an effective confrontation that generated a number of valuable lessons.“ AFGHANI (DIS)ILLUSION “The project of renewing irrigation system connected with repairing the local dam commenced in 2008 and is planned for completion in 2011. and highlights the mutual professional benefit. ”One hundred and fifty members of the 71st Mechanised Battalion.S. Named Combat Maneuver 2010. Around four hundred and sixty professionals. the chief of Land Forces Training Branch of the Czech Joint Force Command.“ Lieutenant Gazda follows closely studying the map of the Kandahar province to get updated before the upcoming meeting with local leaders and U. Czech soldiers also simulated operations of an Afghan National Army (ANA) Brigade on operations. underwent training in JMRC Hohenfels“ states Commander 7th Mechanised Brigade Colonel Ivo Střecha and says that additional three hundred and ten soldiers of the 7th Mechanised Brigade. primarily focused on fine-tuning procedures in search operations. also passed specialist preparation together with the US Army 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment for their planned operational deployment in Afghanistan in 2012. Germany. we have contracted the necessary quantity of vocational specialists and we seek a larger involvement of local authorities in this phase. Commander 34 .

age. players change.“ One of the primary mission of the force protection company with commander Captain Martin Hajduch on 35 .“ Although the Kandahar province is thousands kilometres away from the Hohenfels training area. As many of the 6th Task Force personnel confirmed for us. including the focus of reconstruction projects underway with involvement of both civilian experts and CIMIC personnel. “We have been gaining in-depth familiarity with the situation in Logar from September last year. it was not a problem for us to refocus on the Kandahar province in four days. but the system of work remains. the illusion of an Afghani environment is unbelievably realistic and sophisticated to the finest level of detail. That is facilitated by constructed villages. If necessary. there were nearly thousand supernumeraries of various colours of skin. Other activities are nearly identical. but also Afghani women in blue burqas strolling the streets.6th Task Force rechecks all necessary documentation and quickly turns to Lieutenant Tomiczek: ”Stand close by during the press conference with Afghani press. Simply put: names change. religion and gender.“ the chief of staff Lieutenant-Colonel Jan Zezula puts us into the picture and adds: ”Perhaps the only major difference is that there is a worse security situation in the Kandahar province. including mosques and typical Afghani marketplaces. Helping to set the stage for exercise Combat Maneuver 2010. American instructors intended “military operations to have an Afghani face“. I will hand over to you for specific questions. The only difference for the Czech PRT service personnel on their predeployment prep in Hohenfels is that they will operate in the Logar province while on the exercise they were to operate in the Kandahar province.

“ specifies the commander of the ANA 36 . The commander gets the information that the area has already been monitored by the Afghani National Police. “They are no extras. check“ command. humvees and set off for the meeting venue. the commander sits down. Along with the Czech troops. casualty treatment and evacuation are all taking place before the eyes of omnipresent Observer Controllers (OCs). who moreover gestures confusedly. the incident ended up in mutual understanding and the convoy gets moving again. But it proves very difficult to talk with an Afghani man. The following seconds and minutes are already played according to a different scenario – in line with the trained standard operation procedure. They became Afghan soldiers for three weeks. A specific task was assigned to professionals from the 73rd and 74th battalion. The aim of such in-depth prepared and staged exercise episodes is to create an illusion of operating in real Afghani environment and prevent possible disillusion on deployment in the Logar or Kandahar province. Despite disturbed by a bunch of “local“ rioters. we are getting on U. who watch for the level of preparedness and assess action taken by soldiers in review covering all stages. A hoarse voice on the radio often repeats the “check. There are two fatalities on the scene and two heavily injured persons. which he detonated. they played the role Afghan National Army. or rather kneels down and the agenda may go forward. unit training and joint operations. calling rapid response team from the base. Only in a different uniform. loading fatalities. a brigade headquarters (BDE HQ ANA) and its subordinate four battalions (kandaks). Soldiers immediately begin searching the ambient terrain and convoy surroundings. Fortunately. But it may be an ambush as well.Predeployment Training the exercise was to provide a safe transport of persons to attend the meeting of local leaders. One of the members of the Afghani National Police had a covert explosive device on his body. However. In white camouflage suits marked with high-visibility ANA inscription and with unshaved faces. soldiers monitoring the surrounding area are deafened by an explosion and cries of the injured are heard at once. initial moments of the meeting do not show any signs of problems. We make several stops on our way leading through enclosed and broken terrain. the so-called Shura. but real planning.S. The reason for an unplanned stop this time is an immobile vehicle standing in the way of our convoy. Securing the area. it is therefore reasonable to expect that the meeting will go without complications. The commander orders the vehicle to be checked. several seconds on.

“ Gen. Night operations with the use of night vision devices are no exception. ”Our operation tempo has been intensive and there are really no downtimes. with various crisis situations played from our future area of deployment.brigade. spiced with several ”mishaps”. Despite having a meeting with (non)real governors of the Kandahar and Zabul provinces coming up in minutes. Before we get out of the staff building though. In a severe tone.“ CAPT Smolka or LTC Parwiz says. represented by four infantry companies of the Czech Armed Forces. We performed to our training standards. I have all brigade staff elements and four kandaks. After ninety minutes’ drive. in reality Captain Miroslav Smolka. Two of them are stationed at camps in Hohenfels and the other two operate in the Grafenwoehr training area. he expresses his momentary discontent to American colleagues. he gave us a briefing about his unit. Then we jointly performed a broad range of operations according to a pre-planned scenario. In addition to weapons and equipment we use on regular basis. with sixty eight personnel each. we catch the General’s annoyed voice.“ Phone ringing interrupts the commander’s talk. we are sustaining a heavy load. which is combat patrolling to platoon level. by Pavel Lang and Jan Procházka photos by Pavel Lang and Jan Procházka and the 7th Mechanised Brigade 37 . commander of the 1st Infantry Company the 74th Light Motorized Battalion. No wonder: everything is played out to the maximum level of details. It is the first time for us to be in such environment and in such situations. Everything is recorded on cameras that are everywhere and is reviewed afterwards. we have been given nine Humvees. Counting in the difficult climatic conditions. somewhat relaxed. Hohenfels is a great experience for us. in reality the commander of the 74th Light Motorised Battalion Tomáš Šiler and with all due dignity he publishes his assigned biography including details from his “other“ life. “In my basket. Kandak personnel form ten to fifteen member patrols to monitor areas of interest together with US forces. The initial phase sought to harmonise procedures employed by the units on exercise. A couple of minutes later. we arrive Camp East to be received by warfighters of Lieutenant-Colonel Karim Ulshah Parwiz. But it is definitely a drill that will definitely pay. General Koushan Fahim Sagana. “The Americans requested that we operated as we do on standard basis from our peacetime station. Sagana states and unveils the course of events to come. The commander’s ADC taps his watch indicating for us the time is up. Koushan Fahim Sagana permits us to visit the staff of 1st kandak.

Directly in front of us an accident has occurred involving a truck with semitrailer and the traffic is paralysed in both directions. Moreover. Very thorough planning was therefore required as a part of preparations. in command of a Humvee.Deployed Operations Journey to Millie Paygham Radio is the most frequently used and most popular source of information in Afghanistan. The radio station uphill is visible quite from a distance. ”We are heading for a location over forty kilometres away. Thankfully. through difficult terrain and we will be passing several critical points. The Taleban frequently employ the tactics of blocking road traffic by intentional or staged accidents and attacking ambushed coalition forces that have a limited possibility of manoeuvring and defending. Soldiers began activities they have drilled and gunners in turrets closely watch the surroundings. we are finding out the planned route is not viable and we have to choose another way. ”Situations like these pose a potential security risk. directing the convoy movement from the vehicle heading it. The first complication awaits us in the Tanji Wadjan pass. it is the first time for the 5th contingent to go into that area and the situation has definitely changed since our predecessors has visited the place last time. the third Mobile Observation Team (MOT) of the 5th Czech Armed Forces contingent have embarked on a journey much longer than in common patrolling operations.“ says Warrant Officer 1 Jirka.“ WO1 Michal puts us in the picture. Afghani police officers were able to organise traffic in about twenty minutes’ time and our convoy sets off again towards its destination. The patrol . Arriving closer. 38 38 Escorting civilian and military experts. We set off to see one of the most popular radio stations with the soldiers of the Czech 3rd Mobile Observation Team. We get moving and the journey through Logar just turning green in the Spring goes quite fast.

it is the first time for the 5th contingent to go into that area and the situation has definitely changed since our predecessors has visited the place last time. Soldiers from the first vehicle inspect the small bridge and assess its loadbearing capacity.“ they report. I have to have the vehicle aligned by then and the only mark for me to follow are the hands of the soldier guiding me. 39 39 . Taliban frequently employs the tactics of blocking road traffic by intentional or staged accidents and attacking ambushed coalition forces that have a limited possibility of manoeuvring and defending. in command of a Humvee. “The bridge is clear. The first complication awaits us in the Tanji Wadjan pass. ”Situations like these pose a potential security risk. Now it is up to drivers to show their skills. Soldiers began activities they have drilled and gunners in turrets closely watch the surroundings. ”We are heading for a location over forty kilometres away.“ says Warrant Officer 1 Jirka. the third Mobile Observation Team (MOT) of the 5th Czech Armed Forces contingent have embarked on a journey much longer than in common patrolling operations. width tolerance is in centimetres.“ WO1 Michal puts us in the picture. Directly in front of us an accident has occurred involving a truck with semitrailer and the traffic is paralysed in both directions.leaves the main road and elects to go across the field. through difficult terrain and we will be passing several critical points. ”The problem here is the big approach angle. Moreover. who directs the convoy movement from the vehicle heading it. We set off and the journey through Logar turning green in the Spring goes quite fast. There is only a larger stream to cross.“ explains sergeant Mirek after pulling up on the other side. Very thorough planning was therefore required as a part of preparations. because when the front lifts what I am able to see is only the horizon. load-bearing sufficient. It was a bit tougher job for him – he is driving Escorting civilian and military experts.

Deployed Operations a Dingo. which is wide like.“ outlines the radio director the vision of future cooperation. CDs and refurbishing and renovating the inside. The PRT is also involved in development of some radio programs – for example for local farmers. The PRT helped build a protective wall around the radio station. orders that we dismounted and we are setting off for a 150-metre uphill walk under the protection of the 3rd MOT. Now we could already easily drive up to the top. but heavier and higher than Humvee. ”Competition starts to grow. Additional specific 40 40 . provides financial assistance on acquisition of technical equipment. and we therefore welcome opportunities to improve professional qualities of our reporters thereby increasing quality of our service. The Czech Provincial Reconstruction Team has done a great job here in recent years. Further discussions between PRT civilian reconstruction experts and radio officials covered the radio’s future development and its equipment. The commander. but the whole convoy would turn around there. The weapon team climbs ahead of us to take positions before we approach the gate of the radio station. Lieutenant Lukáš. Millie Paygham (National Message) radio ranks among the oldest in the province – it has broadcast for seven years already. The head of the local radio station thanked Czechs for possibility to have one of the reporters last year for internship in Radio Free Europe in Prague and for the their support. Simply an Afghani DIY.

They are important. 5th Czech Armed Forces contingent PRT Logar. because communicating unbiased information on developments in the province is a prerequisite for future development of Afghani society. we know their job is not over yet. Simply a day in the life of an MOT-man 5th Czech Armed Forces contingent in Logar. Getting off vehicles back at the camp and saying good bye to our protectors of the 3rd MOT. we descend to our vehicles. The Czech vehicles are already amidst hordes of children waving at us. The youngster has an open and inflamed wound on his finger. equipment and vehicles. At a distance. Two hours have passed quickly and the Czech patrol has to return. Time is relentless. vehicles slowly form the convoy. One of the medics (there is a medic on every vehicle) quickly opens his kit. Leaving heartily waving and shouting kids behind. After a warm farewell. A worried mother asks for her son to be treated. Our way back to the base was without problems and unexpected surprises. Only then the much wished-for relax time comes.cooperation projects begin to take shape. maintenance of weapons. treated it and added instructions how to take care of the injury. Operation ISAF 41 41 . They are up to after-action review. Medic Pavel cleaned the wound. they are showing pictures they managed to draw using pencils of our colleagues waiting in the meantime. Press and Information Officer. by Captain Petr Šiler.

including interaction with major international and national governmental and 42 42 .Introducing NATO Architects of International Relations On the eighteenth day of June. the British base in Rheindahlen was the venue to a ceremony marking the closedown of the Headquarters Allied Rapid Reaction Corps in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany and its subsequent relocation into the United Kingdom. sources of information and he must be able to find the way ahead in the field. Major-General Petr Pavel. Latin for “fortune favours the bold“. the firstborn daughter of Queen Elisabeth. Princess Ann. to be stationed at an ex-RAF base nearby the city of Gloucester northwest to London starting August this year. “Audentis Fortuna Iuvat“. is the inscription on the seal of Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) that reports directly to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe. Apart from responsibilities at HQ ARRC. the job of the senior national representative is mostly the same here – he supports the Czech Republic’s national interest and associated tasks at the international command headquarters. The ceremony’s profile was raised by presence of prominent guests headed by the member of the British Royal Family. equipment and weapons. ”The United Kingdom decided to redeploy its forces back to the home territory and since the local command headquarters reports to the United Kingdom and Brits form sixty per cent of the service personnel here. the wife and daughters. senior national representative of the Czech Republic in HQ ARRC. attended the ceremony. explained Lieutenant-Colonel Mojmír Jančík. computers. the Czech National Military Representative in SHAPE. but also his closest. The primary task LTC Jančík currently has is to make sure everything is transferred correctly: including service materiel. “I serve here at the G9 CIMIC branch and my mission is to ensure cooperation in case of deploying into an area of possible conflict. Headquarters ARRC is currently in the process of moving from its standing premises nearby Rheindahlen. He is also frequently in a new environment. such as documents. plus he looks for new links. into the United Kingdom. often initiates new contacts. Germany. On behalf of the Czech Republic. while still in Rheindahlen. it is obvious that other nations involved in the ARRC are also moving to the base at Innsworth“.

LTC Jančík meets his colleagues on daily basis. . the ninemember team differs somewhat from other branches and teams. the art of persuading people. “There are sixty percent Brits on the base plus fourteen nations including the Czech Republic. the military. to solve concrete problems or future conflicts. “We are a more international component. Denmark. prudence and ability to foresee. A mention should also be made that patience and prudence are severely limited by one critical factor: Lieutenant-Colonel Jančík must be able to deploy to any area of operations worldwide on any continent five days’ notice and operate there for the period of six months at the same time. i n ca se t the hey y do o occ ccur ur. manner of financing. as well various degrees of mobility. an and d. which could arise in the area of operations and have the potential of hampering not only those civilian organisation. and. our commanders who have or will be deployed here to perform their specific missions carrying out drafted or already approved plans.nongovernmental organisations that have operated or will be operating there.“ Lieutenant-Colonel Jančík explains the specifity and adds some statistics.“ However. to build the architecture of links and contacts among partners separated not only by distances among their headquarters. and naturally patience. Our powers are 43 43 . the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. In the CIMIC branch at HQ ARRC. Italy. their focus. and areas of interest.“ describes his job the Czech representative in the CIMIC team and adds: ”Simply put. Nevertheless. is oftentimes a challenging mission that requires very good communication skills. seek se eki ing to prevent ing pre reve vent nt c onflicts i cts. but especially us. in case they occur. But the CIMIC team only comprises three Brits and representatives of Portugal. . my job is to build an architecture of mutual relations of organisation involved and participating in the effort while seeking con icts.

indeed a system of bridges to transfer information to make sure both the military and civilian institutions will achieve their goals without injuring one another. it forms the backbone of necessary ties and contacts to be fleshed out. Office for the Coordination of 44 44 . especially in the contingency of sudden humanitarian crisis. one cannot wait in vain until a conflict generates or situation aggravates in problematic or risk area. and. but especially international exercises. we know each other’s roles. to make sure cooperation is coordinated. The principal element here at G9 are the planners. in case needed. just such information drives the creation of the puzzle that forms the nascent architecture.Introducing NATO Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Africa and other regions. ”We stay in touch. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and many others. Contacts. as well as refugee and non-combatant aid tasks. primarily regarding current assessment of humanitarian situations based on information from the civilian sector. “My task is to set up a bridge. My task is to develop the architecture of relations and contacts with the civilian organisations. with officials of the involved non-military organisations and partners are something CIMIC personnel need to have down to a fine art. Not only a range of workshops and conferences. mostly personal ones. help us get to know each other better. namely ARRCADE FUSION with every-year participation of the Czech CBRN Defence Brigade in Liberec. or prepare essential documents in the instance of exercises.“ The advantage is that development of scenarios for those international exercises involves military and civilian experts with personal operational experience from existing conflicts and crises. there is one more critical aspect the CIMIC personnel including Lieutenant-Colonel Jančík have to ensure: they must keep military forces and civilian organisations staying out of each other’s way in the area of interest.“ Lessons learnt especially in Afghanistan prove that collaboration of military and civilian components must be very sensitive. “That body of experience is what we build on developing scenarios for mutual assistance. We need to have established closest contacts with major actors. The scenarios are based on real-world lessons from operational deployments. training). As a matter of fact. International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). notably for the need to ensure security both for civilian population for the civilian defined explicitly. The manifold nature of emerging conflicts coupled with specificity of their management entails the need to be ready for dozens of potential scenarios. missions and potential for cooperation in the event of necessary conflict management anywhere on the globe. gain essential information on international governmental and nongovernmental organisations.“ In addition to that. who must be able to comprehensively plan envisioned operations.“ Already in peacetime. such as the World Food Program (WFP). presently mainly from Afghanistan. reconstruction. A high premium is currently placed on so-called hybrid operations that combine elements of warfighting with civilian support tasks (humanitarian.

the military .“ by Pavel Lang and Jan Procházka photos by Jan Procházka and Radko Janata 45 45 . that they cooperate with us. According to Lieutenant-Colonel Jančík. is to transfer the architectural network into war zones where human lives are frequently at stake and solidness of relations may be very fragile. “I have operational experience from the Balkans.“ The architecture of links and relations is definitely an intricate together with civilians. however. understand the matrix and make use of the imaginary architecture of international relations.organisations themselves. One thing is to build the structure in peacetime and put its solidness and endurance to a test in various exercise scenarios. Lieutenant-Colonel Jančík will be able to test robustness and durability of the architecture he has contributed to build in six-month tour in Operation ISAF in Afghanistan starting January next year. They must not be endangered by the suspicion of cooperating with military forces for instance by soldiers delivering humanitarian aid from civilian agencies in high-threat areas. More demanding and challenging. which is oftentimes very complicated in both political and simple human terms. ”The more we . civilian organisations must be kept aware of areas where they should not engage or temporarily restrict their activity. expose them to sort of an existential risk. the trend with soldiers abandoning humanitarian activities is clearly driven by the effort not to create potential for possible conflicts endangering civilian population and humanitarian organisations. The important thing will be to quickly gain a degree of familiarity with the situation on the ground. which may hamper their position. Contrarily. He says it is a logical consequence of his service at Headquarters ARRC. the more we show to the enemy that the civilians are biased.

Greece. Navy Captain Edward Digges. the MLCC embarked on another challenging phase of development. Colonel Ferenc Jakab. official of the Hungarian Joint Force Command J-4 branch. Brigadier Miroslav Žižka.“ Today. head of logistics section chief of the NATO International Staff in Brussels. Major-General Peter Vojtek. To achieve that objective.S. the Multinational Logistics Coordination Center (MLCC) achieved its initial operational capability January 31. especially the United States of America. the symbolic ribbon at the MLCC ops room door was cut by the Czech 1st Deputy CHOD. Czech officer responsible for MLCC operations. Commander Operations Support Staff of the General Staff the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic. SLovakia and U. and an enhanced cooperation is therefore essential. To mark the occasion. I am looking forward to the achievement of full operational capability of the center. Admiral Christos Katsaros.“ Mr. said: “The Multinational Logistic Coordination Center started to operate in virtual set-up. which Hungary. and Division Chief Logistic Support U. The graduating operational tempo places increasing demands on the limited capacity of logistic support components. whose founding idea involves the assistance and support the Czech Republic has received in the process from other nations. also welcomed the achieved progress in the meeting: “I highly value the fact that the Czech Republic took up the challenge of establishing the Multinational Logistics Coordination Center.Events Multinational Logistic Coordination Center: One Step Closer Having formed in Prague pursuant to a Czech initiative presented to other NATO nations in October 2008 in a session of the Senior NATO Logisticians Conference (SNLC). which is highly valuable for our logistic efforts. General Žižka commented: “Now we are at the very beginning and we face much work before the Multinational Logistics Coordination Center becomes fully operational but I would like to see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of the successful idea behind this project. particularly in smaller NATO nations. joined by signing the Letter of Intent in October 2009. Deputy Chief of General Staff Hellenic Armed Forces. Bruno Cantin. 2010. European Command (USEUCOM). an MLCC ops room was prepared and equipped with communication and information systems at Pohořelec Barracks in Prague and launched a website 46 . Colonel Roman Dufek.S.

the task was up to organise a subject-matter workshop in Prague. ACR General Staff 47 . but also forces and assets as well as time and space necessary to support units in their area of operations. Director Czech MoD Logistic Policy Division. and even more coordinated logistic support. Public Diplomacy Section. we will not only save money.“ Colonel Vladimír Halenka. attended not only by member nations of the initiative.“ And what about the next steps facing the Multinational Logistics Coordination Centre? Already on March 1617th. but also other states that follow MLCC development closely and consider their future involvement. In case we embark on operations with pre-prepared. Based on the Minister’s decision. and then additional organisational and legal steps necessary for direct involvement of our foreign partners here in Prague. compatible. training and coordinating international cooperative logistics efforts prior to the deployment of NATO nations’ and partner forces for operations. we will first prepare the structure of the centre’s national element. education. outlined further essential steps to come: ”An expert group has been in the process of developing documents for the Minister of Defence to decide on the future shape of the Multinational Logistics Coordination Center. which is to account for some 25% of its total personnel. by CAPT Jan Šulc.“ Colonel Halenka also summarised the MLCC mission: “We will be focusing primarily on information sharing.accessible to other NATO logisticians in cooperation with the US European Command.

There are also six Czech service personnel posted there. reorganisation in NATO impacted on the responsibilities of the then Allied Tactical Operations Centres (ATOC) with the mission to plan and conduct offensive air operations and Sector Operations Centre (SOCs) performing only air defence missions. Over the past two years. up on the hill. you would get the same answer. Following optimisation of NATO command arrangements. Nevertheless. Until the beginning of 1990s. THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE In general. tactical command and control over defensive and offensive air operations were performed in separation. A common-place white “Luftwaffe-NATO“ banner points toward an important NATO tactical command: the Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC). additional integration has taken place in NATO air forces. plan and coordinate air operations in its assigned area of responsibility both in peace and in 48 . Asking any of the locals about the military. the mission of such an operations centre is to prepare. there are only two tactical commands left in the NATO Integrated Air Defence System (NATINADS) northern area of responsibility: CAOC in Uedem and CAOC in Finderup. you see they were right. substantially decreasing the number CAOCs – from ten to four. they were merged to form the CAOC Combined Air Operations Centres. Denmark.Introducing NATO Safeguarding Part of the Sky There are six Czech soldiers serving their tours in the Combined Air Operations Center in Uedem. Hitting Autobahn 57 in Düsseldorf and going on north towards Nijmegen. Netherlands. after about a sixty minutes’ drive you arrive the town of Uedem. several hundred metres on. On the left-hand side. At the beginning of 1990s. Germany.

Contrarily to most Allied forces. the Czech Republic and Slovakia. with initial tasking to visually identify the target in question. In a hyperbole. Americans. It is CAOC duty shift. In case there is an airspace security violation. who makes the decision the scramble QRA fighters. With the exception of analytical section. Belgian and Dutch F-16s to intervene is usually the loss of communication by the airplane with civilian air traffic control. DENYING PERSONNEL TRENDS Any component of such kind. The mission is operationally and logistically supported by U. specifically the 603rd Air and Space Operations Center and 435th Air Ground Operations Wing. Day-to-day activities at CAOC Uedem primarily focus on policing its assigned airspace over ten European countries from Benelux to the Baltic. Inactivating CAOC 4 expanded the Uedem CAOC’s AOR with southern half of Germany. the key role is played by the five-member team of duty officers. both based at Ramstein. Slovak MiG-29. The CAOC in Uedem currently undergoes major technical and organisational changes while the major factor in the process is the implementation of the new Air Command and Control System (ACCS) and attaining the capability to deploy anywhere on the globe. ACCS is soon to replace the existing NATO air defence systems in Europe. forces. At the beginning of the chain. where defence budget cuts enforce downsizing including personnel restrictions. Financial commitments or indeed national contributions to fund CAOC are derived from the number of professionals nations have on the unit. The ACCS implementation on tactical level will attain a true integration of individual command and control system elements. The principal reason for a larger staff is NATO’s growing territorial security role that reduces the need for static defences and rather calls for an effective approach to crisis management requiring a higher degree of deployability and readiness. Czechs are 49 . Available stats show that ”alpha“ is on here three to four times on average a month. German Eurofighters and Phantoms. larded with the most advanced electronic systems. the Uedem facility will see its personnel increased.crisis. specifically the leader. as well as Polish. Belgians and the Dutch.S. such as NADGE. who exercise direct control over assigned defensive air and air defence assets. GEADGE and STRIDA. Uedem is an international facility that brings under a single roof men and women in uniform of seventeen nations. There are six members of the Armed Force of the Czech Republic serving at the Uedem facility at the moement. this is about balancing know-how. there are radar sensors scanning the airspace on 24/7/365 basis and transmitting the air picture to control and reporting centres. The most frequent reason for Czech JAS-39 Gripen. Most represented are Germans. would however be useless without highly qualified and experienced staff. ALPHA SCRAMBLE With all due respect to other military professionals in Uedem. the leader orders two QRA machines to take off immediately (Alfa Scramble).

“The duty tour here at Uedem meant a great headway for me both in professional and personal terms. during which Colonel Marek first passed entry specialist course at the CAOC and. who is assigned as Deputy Director Air Operations. He will pass on two imaginary batons (first connected with his post. The intention to increase the number of personnel at the Uedem Combined Air Operations Centre will also apply to the Czech Republic.“ says COL Marek. a three-year tour serving as the head of duty shift. which ranks him among top CAOC officials. In February 2008. he returned to CAOC. In addition to that. We are confronted with a gamut of facts that I did not think as the Commander Control and Reporting Center in Czech Republic or as a citizen in the Czech Republic would ever concern me. After affirmatory position of the NATO Military Committee that approved the new NATO command arrangements.Introducing NATO represented at all key elements of the CAOC. shortly after that. was in command of the Control and Reporting Center in Stará Boleslav back in the Czech Republic and studied the United States War College. His 30-month tour in the Federal Republic of Germany concludes on the last day of July. we have two Majorranked professionals in the planning branch and three specialists serving on the permanent duty shifts – shift leader. when he will be celebrating his fiftieth birthday at the same time. the next two years will see progressive increase to nine Czech Air Force personnel. this time as deputy director air operations. That post ensures the Czech Armed Forces is adequately represented on the command group. it will be both enjoyable and informative retrospect. air situation officer and assistant head. ”Trust me. who 50 . the second relating to the position of the Senior National Representative of the Czech Republic) to Colonel Petr Mikulenka.“ he states and goes on to say that another positive THE SAME RIVER TWICE Uedem is unique for Colonel Milan Marek by being his professional premiere as well as the very last tour in his service. Commander 21st Air Force Base Čáslav and pilot of the JAS-39 Gripen multirole supersonic fighter. The most senior-ranked Czech is Colonel Milan Marek. There were hectic beginnings eleven years ago.

because quality performance is also a question of the individual’s professionalism. Latvia and Lithuania and eight alpha scrambles the QRA Gripen fighters had during the tour were resounding.“ by Pavel Lang and Jan Procházka photos by authors and Jan Kouba 51 . Your encounter various national habits that influence the way you treat your subordinates on constant basis. We are still so-called East for them. Hundreds of kilometres away from home. Czech officers find living with good neighbourly relations much better than otherwise. People around you look closely at what you do and make conclusions for example about how you care of the house and land you have rented. That is. We demonstrated to NATO partners that we have met required compatibility and training quality standards. Therefore. of course. The important part is that both parties understood each other perfectly and read the order in completely same manner. ”As a Czech representative in a foreign country. you need to able to read people’s profiles. Any success of such kind definitely boosts your confidence. which has been commonplace in the NATO Alliance for many years. that incites a broad mutual discussion cultivating your knowledge.“ says COL Marek and adds one more personal lesson. and therefore interesting.“ explains COL Marek and underscores that the training Czech service personnel undergo for staff tours abroad should reflect on that aspect of diplomacy. “It is also about “international“ way of managing your staff. One of the professional benefits the six Czech military professionals enjoy at Uedem is the positive image of the Armed Forces of Czech Republic. you should also foster correct contacts with your neighbours in the place of your residence. You may even not realise yourself that formulating orders badly or having misconceptions about national specificity may lead to misunderstandings possibly hampering on mission performance. not unacceptable. On the other hand. In case the individual accepts the tasks onehundred percent. you can be sure he/she will perform much more effectively and add some more value in most instances.aspect is working in an international environment. ”The Czech deployment for airspace policing over Estonia.

Multinational Exercise

Three thousand personnel of five NATO nations’ armed forces worked shoulder-to-shoulder, jointly pursuing objectives of combat operations as a part of exercise Flying Rhino 2010

Every Mission Unique

For three weeks in May, land and air forces of the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Lithuania and Slovakia performed joint combat operations in a multinational division order of battle in exercise Flying Rhino. Same as in previous years, the involved units put to the test their preparedness, particularly for operational deployments in Afghanistan.
Flying Rhino penetrated the territory of seven regions of the Czech Republic for the eighth consecutive time. On May 3-21, three thousand service personnel, of whom about a thousand were of the Czech Armed Forces, were up to dozens of scenarios they could encounter deployed for combat operations in Afghanistan. British forces, specifically the 1st (UK) Armoured Division, have played a key role here. ”NATO troops are here to share their combat lessons from Afghanistan and build on them to enhance effectiveness of land and air operations,“ says commander 1st (UK) Armoured Division and FR 2010 exercise director, MajorGeneral Adrian Bradshaw, and describes goals of what has been one of the largest field training exercise in the Czech territory this year. ”Plus to maintain combat qualifications of forward air controllers and coordinated live fire of artillery and air assets“, he adds. The British General goes on to specify major types of equipment used by the involved NATO nations’ armed forces. ”On land, we are supported by 155-mm AS 90 self-propelled howitzers, 86-mm mortars, air defence assets and HVM Rapier systems, SA-6 Gainful and RBS70, ARTHUR radar and Sojka III unmanned aerial vehicles as well as other command, control, reconnaissance, air defence, passive systems and electronic warfare assets. In the air, we have all types of aircraft in service with the Czech Air Force, British Tornado GR4 fighters, Hawk trainer jets, Lynx helicopters and Lithuanian L-39ZA Albatros jet trainers as well as American F-16CJ multirole fighters.“ The mention should also be made that the aircraft take off into exercise airspaces designated ”RAT“ and “JERBOA“ from the 22nd Air Force Base at Náměšť nad Oslavou while land operations take place in the Brdy and Libavá Military Training Areas.

On road, by railway and via air is how the British forces based in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany moved to the Czech Republic. Transfer of soldiers and hundreds tons of materiel and ammunition must have obviously claimed a longterm preparation. ”Once Flying Rhino is over, we are launching preparations for the next run. There is no other way to do it with such a large event,“ says the FR 2010 chief logistic officer, Major Milan Holusek of the Olomouc-based Joint Force Command and provides an example: ”The Brits managed to transport six hundred units of hardware on seven trains from the FRG and fifty ISO containers into four predesignated locations in the Czech Republic. Unloading coordinated by Czech Armed Forces liaison officers was performed flawless, with substantial assistance particularly by the members of the 14th (Czech) Logistic Support Brigade.“ The Brits provided for housing and messing in fact on their own. They built tent shelter camps with necessary infrastructure in training locations. They used own field cooking facilities to cater for their troops. “We helped

52 52

them with contacts to local commercial contractors and coordinated limited logistic support services,“ says MAJ Holusek. Flying Rhino is every year’s load test for the Náměšť Air Force Base in particular. What initially was a bilateral exercise turned into a large event with international importance. Not only that the 22nd Air Force Base becomes involved with its personnel and hardware in EX FR, but it also performs the Host Nation Support (HNS) role. ”We seek to be good hosts in all respects. The feedback we have received from foreign exercise participants has been positive so far and that is very pleasing. We are also committed to excellent relations with local communities,“ Colonel Libor Štefánik, Commander 22nd Air Force Base, explains and goes on to say: ”Increased flight intensity and flying operations as late as until 1 a.m. entails a higher noise load. We have therefore had discussions with officials of surrounding municipalities to explain objectives of this international exercise.“ Although Colonel Štefánik points out the obvious expansion of land forces taking part in the exercise compared to Rhino’s previous runs, he assures that one the exercise priorities remained to enhance professional qualifications of forward air controllers or FACs. ”In the context of Flying Rhino, several dozens of such specialists were employed, including FACs of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic,“ states the commander 22nd AFB. No doubt that the demand for these specialists on foreign-deployed operations has grown consistently. The reason is that the Close Air Support (CAS) missions,

53 53

Multinational Exercise

during which cooperation with forward air controllers is absolutely essential, are always case-specific. ”The exercise scenario mirrors the reality of the conflict in Afghanistan. It is therefore inconceivable for the forces to operate in their area of responsibility without a FAC support. But it is not just about the very controlling of airplanes onto targets. It is unacceptable at the same time to expose friendly forces and non-combatants to the danger of effects of an attack,“ explains LTC Jiří Dědič, Commander of the 225th combat support battalion, who has responsibility over the FAC unit. Some might say the scenery Czech Republic provides is substantially different to the one in Afghanistan, because there are no high mountains or deserts. But FACs follow exactly given scheme in their work. It is paramount for them to be able to feel like they were the pilots of the aircraft they are controlling. The landscape profile is not the key factor in this sense. The Czech military training areas also offer the possibility to simulate completely realistic crisis scenarios,“ LTC Dědič states and reviews additional positive aspects. ”We are able to work with task forces as big as a combined division, we communicate with pilots who are native English speakers, control foreign aircraft using night

54 54

including GBU-12 laser guided bombs.“ explains Major Jakub Štefánek. Day-to-day routines at the NATO base quartering members of British-Czech task force are suddenly over. including from AGOS. a FAC instructor. Italian Captain Francesco Spike. by Pavel Lang photos by Jan Kouba 55 55 . The Libavá training area is where one of the dozens of Flying Rhino episodes is just coming to a head. Deputy Exercise Director. ”The first week practises individual procedures and harmonises Allied forces involved. quickly calls his colleagues to join him. forward air controller school. ground personnel are in the process of finalising preps for flight goggles and gain additional experience. and elaborates that the FR 2010 divides into several mutually coordinated smaller exercises that culminate with a live fire practice. Danish and Lithuanian forward air controllers enter the scene calling air support to the incident site using radios. Terrorist assault comes unexpectedly and fast. the U. two Czech Armed Forces L-159 ALCA subsonic combat aircraft attack enemy positions. Czech ALCAs. We regard Flying Rhino an optimal opportunity to fine-tune our preparedness for possible operational deployment in Afghanistan. they are progressively getting into a heavy defensive.“ says LTC Dědič with pride.“ Lieutenant-Colonel Oldřich Lokaj explains. Lithuanian ZAs. “We have a fivesome of one-five-niners here to fly CAS sorties.“ appraises the Dane and the Lithuanian and reviews how they controlled their aircraft onto target. His words are cut off by the noise produced by a couple of Slovak L-39 ZA aircraft. A couple of minutes later. For the next two weeks the division-level command and control system activates fully and scenario of episodes progressively comes to a head.“ comments Major David Řeha. both with practice and live ammunition. Every mission is unique. “Excellent job. At the Náměšť AFB apron platform. Although allied troops answer fire. FIGHTING BOTH IN THE AIR AND ON THE GROUND Flying Rhino schedule divides into two phases. A massive cloud of smoke and deafening bang occur in the range target zone. Fierce enemy rifle and mortar fire results in many casualties. commander 212th Tactical Squadron. “We load fifty rounds into the GSh-23 cannon on the Czech thirty-niners.S. British hawks and Tornados start up in succession. The airplanes assault and release practise bombs. Having barely lifted off the runway they turn heading for the Brdy military training area while Czech Mi-24/35 gunships and British Lynx helicopters begin turning their rotors.

Expected time of arrival back to the camp is as late as four p. Dingo and Iveco co armoured vehicles indicates that this time it is neither a patrol nor an escort ort convoy. One of the soldiers offers us dried beef. we first need to pass Camp Altimur. The fortification uphill is the home base to Romanian special forces and Afghani National Army. MRE packs will need to make up for the lunch. We just need to sign a document with Americans cofnirming we have familiarity with safety rules and standard operation procedures of the local facility. They say there is a rock like from the Harry Potter. There will not be time later on to eat. He says it’s a perfect thing: it just weighs a couple of grams and makes you feel full. Service personnel of the 5th contingent the Provincial Reconstruction ruction Team (PRT) in Logar are scheduled for infantry weapon shooting practise.Deployed Operations Firing the M2HB-QCB heavy machine gun mounted on Iveco light armoured vehicles is very accurate and relatively comfy. So. nearly a thousand metre high.m. There are Americans here as well. An extraordinary long convoy of Humvee. some therefore rather eat now. He also shows how to eat it. actise. until saliva increases its volume. Like Playing a Computer Game We left blast walls ringing Camp Shank and headed south down the Road Utah. 56 . To get there. It just takes of couple of minutes for us to see for ourselves that they had not bluffed this time at all. The best way is to tear fibres with teeth and let it in the mouth for a while. The salient rock can be seen from a great distance already. HARRY POTTER SHOOTING RANGE Someone behind us says the local range is real good. The range has been booked.

. MG3 and M2HB 12. Sa-58 rifles. at the Altimur infantry range. Sako and Falkon sniper rifles. accessible through a hatch. where we can shoot long distances. the weapon station can also mount a 40-mm grenade launcher as well as Javelin. But only shortrange practise is possible there. Mistral or CRV7/Hydra missiles. The Czech representative in the EUPOL (EU Police Mission). and let’s go. It houses the M2HB. “We will be shooting nearly all weapons used by the contingent: Glock 17 pistols. That is why we practise shooting twice a week. Apart from those. WO Zdeněk I.“ explains the officer responsible for today’s firing practise. AGS-17 grenade launchers and Carl Gustav RPGs. Minimi. and continues: “To maintain habits you have drilled and your marksmanship standards is even more important on an operational tour than anywhere else. but they do not get activated this time. the vehicle is said to be highly manoeuvrable. produced by Kongsberg company of Norway. There are also smoke grenades.“ We are interested most in the inventory of the Iveco LMV light armoured vehicles that the reconnaissance detachment uses. Despite all armour and a strong protection. We could hardly try such training out back home. is the Protector M151 A2 weapon station controlled from within the cab. Drivers praised driving properties of the vehicle equipped with automatic gearbox a short while ago. who is with us today. we are using another range right on the base. 57 .We are allocated frequencies we must be permanently available at. In addition to that. If we are good timewise. One time we go here. we will also shoot DShK and PKM machine guns mounted on Humvees.QCB heavy machine gun manufactured by FN Herstal of Belgium.7-mm machine guns. It does up to hundred and ten kilometres an hour on road. has even brought the German G 36 submachine gun. which was created from former helipad. Up on the roof. The modular ballistic protection can easily be enhanced with add-on armour sets.

You can zoom the target in or out on the display. I am pushing the trigger. depending on current ambient visibility. the moves I am making are too jerky. IR camera and laser rangefinder. My target of big rocks is well over 1. If you do not shoot. I am zeroing in a second and firing another short burst from the belt 58 .. The American one. I am electing one of the seven crosshairs. At the beginning. The weapon station also includes a camera.“ smiles the gunner. there is nothing easier than operating this weapon. In case it helps achieve finer detail. It divides into tiny segments so that it is easier to zero in. “It’s as easy as shooting in a computer game. SSG Jan T.000 metres away. the camera can be used for surveillance. I put my left hand on the display panel and my right on the control stick aiming the machine gun barrel and feeling the trigger on the joystick. The vehicle just tugs very lightly a couple of times. With headset on. I am not skilled at handling the joystick. Eventually I am having the target exactly in my sight.Deployed Operations SHOOTING FROM IVECO VEHICLE “Sure you gonna hit. It is possible to perform surveillance as well as shooting at night.“ I am finding out it is very simple to slew the gun to all sides using the actuator. The camera’s range is several kilometres. The gunner next to me gives me a hint: it is like milking cows. I would not even know I am shooting. The display exactly shows the projectiles’ impact one segment right to the stones. Unfortunately I am not skilled at either. and frees the rear seat up for me. The weapon has two safety locks and a safety guard in addition to that. the display switches to negative imaging.

They have to finish earlier because they are scheduled for a patrol at one p. I am adjusting. We can do nothing but wait until they pass. Shooting does not bother them at all. UAV operators search broader areas adjacent to the range to enhance security and safety standards. because it is clear at this point that their crews will not have their go today. in case a moving target is shot at. there were plans that we would employ the system much more frequently. Contrarily. Shooting the Carl Gustav RPGs is the cream of the crop. When the then Military Police Special Operations Group established the requirement for these vehicles. I am finding out myself it does work. at the range of some four hundred metres. Sometimes it even happens that some people pop up in the nearby wadi to see what is happening. An order comes immediately to cease fire. the computer calculates the target velocity and automatically aims the barrel before the target. While we have stated just recently that the seasoned DShK machine guns in the inventory of our Armed Forces were actually not that bad. by some thirty to forty metres. I see the whole thing in a completely different light after such a lesson.with two hundred and eighty rounds. flash and much smoke. His colleague reports there was a suspicious movement at two o’clock. It claims some skill to hit the target with this weapon precisely. but it turns out it was just a herd of camels. Initially. the Raven lands on its belly on a rocky ground. turns away and covers his ears. But is has mostly been the U. But the burst falls too short.m. But it gets closer to the target. Raven completes several rounds and operator makes sure everything is all right. The more difficult part is firing a grenade launcher at approximately five hundred metres. The convoy of Humvees turns around and returns to the base. I am hitting the bull’s eye this time. Now I know what gunners from the reconnaissance detachment meant saying that just this the twenty-first century weapon. Then there is a deafening bang. The dust rises about two metres in front of the target. Seems like a hard landing. their rationale was that they would need them to smash rocks that insurgents used for cover. by Vladimír Marek 59 . But it is not a big problem either as the station is equipped with a stabilizer. We try another new item in service. firing belongs to living in Afghanistan like air or water. The third couple of rounds impacts already pretty close. The loader slides the round inside. Spring began and nomads set off for their travels. In several moments. I am aiming the dot in the sight to the bottom part of the running figure-shaped target. UNTIL THE CARAVAN PASSE S BY A camel caravan moves across the shooting range.S. slaps the shooter on the shoulder. the camera focuses on the target. The Raven reconnaissance UAV takes off exactly at noon. Firing on the move is more challenging. Finally we can continue shooting. who provide reconnaissance with UAVs for the PRT. The eroded rocks break into pieces this time. He flies the UAV in that direction. the Minimi. The first burst shoots well over the target. but I am told the UAV is designed for that – that is why it is made of high endurance materials.

“ said the General Vlastimil Picek. The Czech Air OMLT teams then rotated serving four-month tours. “We will expand our aid to Afghanistan by sending our military experts into Kabul to provide input into building the Afghan National Army Air Corps. From April 2008. Endorsed by the Cabinet of the Czech Republic in October 2007. 60 60 . “The second round of rotations has just started. Martin Vaniš and Capt. ANA officials continue to show eager commitment to working with Czech experts. the Chief of General Staff Czech Armed Forces. an eight-member group of the 23rd Air Force Base (Heli) began to operate under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Ivan Pospíchal. Vaniš for their second tour in Afghanistan starting April. Vladik and explains that they are going together with Capt. there is an eleven-member team of the 22nd Air Force Base Náměšť led by Lieutenant-Colonel Rudolf Straka as part of the 3rd Czech Armed Forces contingent in International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) stationed at the Kabul International Airport.“ says Capt. It will not be necessary to get to know the environment. On the other hand. the deed of donation was signed between the Czech and Afghani Ministry of Defence and the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CTSC-A) that is responsible for training Afghani flight personnel. ”We both know very well what we are up to. What did they hold? Some key facts by the way of introduction: the Czech Republic decided to donate to the Afghani National Army six Mi-17 transport helicopters and six Mi-24 gunships decommissioned from the inventory of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic for being surplus. They do not have a clear answer to whether their previous experience has been useful for them or not. Capt. Presently. we will be confronted with a different group of Afghanis. flight personnel training system and the Mi-24 helicopter maintenance system. Josef Mareš of the 221st Helicopter Squadron the 22nd Air Force Base (Helo) are already through their premiere tour in the Czech Air OMLT at Kabul. ROTATION OF CZECH OMLT Captain Vladimír Vladik. Roughly a dozen instructors have served here during the past two years. first as a part of the 4th Czech Armed Forces Field Hospital and CBRN defence contingent.Military-to-military Assistance Two Years of OMeLeTte Two years have passed from the deployment of the first Czech helicopter Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) at the Kabul International Airport (KAIA) to train military pilots and ground personnel of the Afghan National Army (ANA) Air Corps. Dozen of machines then underwent overhaul and modernisation funded by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

“ His colleague from the helicopter squadron Capt. We focus our attention on such weaknesses in our ground training. They already know that professional qualification of their Afghan colleagues will be the less demanding part. both in terms of work and personality.“ It is no secret that the Czech Air Force had to refresh their Russian vocabulary communicating with Afghans.the GPS. Many Afghan pilots studied at former Soviet air schools and flew with Soviet instructors. Operating the GPS navigation system practically proved to be a very hard nut for Afghans to crack. But when asked to draw a flight route. Afghan pilots communicate in Dari or in Russian.“ they say in unison.We will see how we get on with each other. Josef Mareš comments: “Asked about the position of a landmark they pinpoint it on the map with their finger without hesitation.“ says Capt. but it was not enough for fluent aviation phraseology amongst aircrew. Interpreters make the situation easier. They do not have such a technology awareness as we do to be able to program the device quickly and. we seek to get verified their system of training flight personnel for flying and we recommend essential changes in mission planning and assessment to prevent undesired events endangering flight safety. use it operatively in flight. The knowledge of English is very poor here.“ Capt. “Afghans had 61 61 . “Those who have not ever experienced working with Afghan pilots onboard a helicopter would find it hard to imagine the diversity of tasks we are up to. The Czech instructor also found interesting to learn about the differences in Afghani culture and mentality of the locals as well as living at KAIA. first and foremost. But they have not flown for a long period of time and our mission is to renew their professional automatisms. “We have learnt some basic phrases in Dari as well. they often find it difficult. In addition. Vaniš and gives an example related to using a modern navigation system . Vladik recalls. “They are mostly experienced pilots who have logged as many as thousands hours of flying in mountain environment.

“With elevation eighteen hundred metres above sea level. you are confronted with people coming from various parts of the world all the time. The practice was as follows: day one preparation. which practically meant that we flew early in the morning or in the evening.“ Capt. day two flights. Vaniš states.“ they add. High temperatures had to be taken into account as well.“ says Vladimír Vladik and adds that situations when the technical personnel could not even touch the broiled machines were not exceptional.“ Speaking about flight operations.“ Capt. “Flying in mountains and in extreme climatic conditions gave us many new lessons. “With our predecessors. by Pavel Lang photos by Czech OMLT 62 62 . For example. Being on station at the Kabul airport also gave me many valuable lessons. they already completed a live fire exercise with the machine gun and with unguided rockets. including zeroing in weapons as well as so-called photo shooting. ”I did not interfere into their piloting. Of course subject to meteo conditions.Military-to-military Assistance a very friendly attitude to my person and showed me how they valued the Czech assistance. but rather prepare them for performance of limited combat missions. During my tour. It was not about being afraid of flying with them. Then they continued with navigation flights and performance of assaults. One of such tasks were live fire exercises for instance. all three instructors concur that they did not only pass their experience but also learnt some lessons themselves. Afghans passed weapon system training. when visibility dropped under five kilometres. I only grabbed the stick in exceptional cases. the Kabul International Airport has some specificity. They performed to satisfaction on both sides. LESSONS FOR BOTH SIDES The key thing during a four-month tour took place in the Mi-24 gunship cockpits. When you consider wearing the tactical vest weighing several kilos … The mission of the Czech OMLT team was not to fly given number of hours with Afghani pilots. flight operations were restricted. Mareš says and he also evaluates with respect the training standards Afghani pilots have displayed. In multinational environments.

a Ukrainian carrier’s Antonov An-124-100M machine landed on runway zero-six of the Prague Ruzyně airport to load both Bozenas stored in transport containers onboard. But the military Bozena 5 celebrates the twenty-third day of April from this year on. because it has set off for it first ”live” mission abroad. The exercise have been prepared for quite some time and its importance for the Czech Republic primarily consists in the fact that progressive disposal 63 . HUMANITARIAN AID TO JORDAN As the Middle East belongs to the Czech Foreign policy’s high priority areas. Two out of three demining systems in the inventory of the 15th Engineer Brigade together with a Czech Armed Forces unit departed for an exercise in Jordan at the end of April earlier this year. It is a part of extensive efforts the Government of Jordan is making to further improve their relations with the neighbouring states of Israel and Syria while boosting economic development in the concerned territory. 2010. ”Our mission is to provide humanitarian aid to Jordan by the means of deploying a Czech Armed Forces engineer unit into the Jordan River valley that sustained most of mining as a result of previous Israeli-Arab conflicts.An exercise of Czech Armed Forces engineer unit in a territor y mined in previous conflicts Bozena at the Jordan River Bozena is a traditional Czech female name that is on the calendar on eleventh February. the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic decided to support the demining project in Jordan. A day before that. Czech-Jordanian talks resulted in signing a memorandum of understanding on March 8th. Bozena 5 remote controlled self-propelled flail demining system: vehicles manufactured in Slovakia in service with Czech military deployed in the Jordan river valley from April till July or indeed till October.

Military-to-military Assistance 64 of mines will undoubtedly help stabilise situation in the region. Director of MoD Force Development Division – Operations Division and specifies the mandate for the engineer unit.“ The Chief of the Engineer service of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic. ”The mission is planned for three months. ”It was only in military tests and training practise mostly in Slovakia that Czech engineers gained experience with Bozena’s . with effectiveness employing the demining vehicles to be evaluated already in that timeframe. Colonel Robert Bielený. We think it is very likely that the Jordanian party initiates a request for our mission to be extended by another three months.“ says Brigadier Bohuslav Dvořák. comments on the positive aspects of the first “live“ foreign mission involving Czech combat engineers.

another Bozena 5 flail demining system. A brief welcome.“ MAJ Záškodný says and boards the Ruslan aircraft. deputy commander 153rd Combat Engineer Battalion. Amman. One of the reasons for that not to have happened so far is the lack of experience on the side of Czech engineers. but to aid Jordan and test capabilities of demining vehicles in demanding conditions at the same time.“ he states and adds that if circumstances permit. The transition from a training area into minefields will also put our mental endurance to a thorough test. there is an interest to use these remote controlled robotic manipulators primarily for disposing of improvised explosive devices planted on roads used by Allied convoys.abilities. For Major Vladimír Záškodný. And Czech soldiers are up to another challenging mission … by Pavel Lang photos by Jan Kouba and Martin Koller . exercise in the Kingdom of Jordan is not the first foreign mission.“ he argues. Czech soldiers are able to repair it themselves. most importantly. ”In case mine explosions damage the machine. coordination talks and introduction to the site. Jordanian specialists have not been able to perform manual mine disposal in difficult terrain that is thickly covered with shrubbery in addition to that. My personal opinion is that this six-month exercise at the Jordan River means more for them than ten years of teaching this advanced demining system to them. Equipped with rotating flail device with effective demining width of 2. because that would take several years. This several months’ exercise in unknown terain and with live ordnance will be a big leap ahead in their professionalism. After four hours of flight.“ Colonel Bielený explains.65 metres.“ COL Bielený explains and adds that Bozena operators passed a dedicated maintenance and servicing course on manufacturer sites. the unit also carries necessary spare parts and. ”The Bozena 5 type has been in service with the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic nearly for two years. For such instances. What does the Chief of Engineer Service mean? “Potential deployment of Bozena 5 for combat operations in Afghanistan. Full-scale Bozena operator training normally takes nine months plus. Božena will clear the river valley area from antipersonnel and antitank mines. “In case of the exercise. the Czech Armed Forces engineer unit lands in the capital of Jordan. who is in charge of the nine-member team of specialists from Olomouc and Rakovník. We have done our best to succeed. we are focusing on high-intensity training in difficult climate conditions. The only limits to the remote-controlled machine are terrain inclination and locations with mines having charges over nine kilo TNT equivalent. “Our mission is not to demine the whole river valley. He served a tour in KFOR in the territory of Kosovo seven years ago.“ The area for Czech Armed Forces engineers has been identified by the Jordan National Committee for Demining and Rehabilitation. It takes over an hour’s time to get to the Karama Base located about eighty kilometres westwards.

Support the Legend Hurricane Mk I at the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain Purchase the unique print and obtain more privileges! 10th NATO Days in Ostrava & 1st Czech Air Force Days September 18 .natodays.19. 2010 Find more at .

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful