Anti-Aircraft units from Strakonice practising air defence over Poland together with NATO partners
Terrain reconnaissance, building firing positions of units and signals exercises – this was the content of the first week of the Tobruq Legacy 2019 defence exercise, which takes place in Poland and has nearly five thousand participating soldiers from twenty NATO countries. The aim of the joint defence exercise is to deepen cooperation of the ground based anti-aircraft defence units when protecting the airspace of one of the NATO member states.
Among others the defence exercise is also attended by one hundred and thirty soldiers from the 25th Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment from Strakonice. “The core of the unit is a combined Anti-Aircraft Missile Battery enforced by the command position and firing control. The main weapon systems used by the Czech soldiers during the Tobruq Legacy 2019 defence exercise are the anti-aircraft missile systems 2K12 KUB and RBS-70,” said the commander of the 251st Anti-Aircraft Missile Division, Lieutenant Colonel Alan Dubový.
The Czech soldiers moved to Poland on the first weekend in June. Already on Sunday they performed reconnaissance of the area, where the defence exercise should be performed. On Monday, 3rd June, the defence exercise of the NATO units began in high gear.
Soldiers assuming firing positions
In the morning the Czech unit was given a command to move. A convoy of combat vehicles set out to the designated area. Soldiers were building firing positions. Although they had to face dust and temperatures over 30°C they soon reported assuming their position. In the days to follow their programme consisted of signals exercises and co-ordinations with other NATO units.
“In the preparatory phase we used also the flight effort, that was performed within the Ramstein Guard exercise. Radar operators perfected themselves in identifying and catching means of aerial attacks,” added First Lieutenant Jan Sporka, commander of the Anti-Aircraft Missile Battery in Poland.
While units in firing positions were preparing themselves for fighting activities, members of the Polish technical battery were preparing missiles for combat shooting. The first missiles to take turn were the ones to be used by the Czech soldiers from the anti-aircraft system 2K12 KUB.
Picture: Radar Commander under the supervision of a fight preparation instructor practices catching a new type of target that is to be destroyed by the soldiers within combat shooting | kpt. Jana Samcová, army.cz
All twelve missiles successively went through several workplaces of the technological line, where they were completed and filled by compressed air, and their functionality was checked, etc. An inseparable part of the process included mounting of self-destruct devices which should detonate the explosive charge in case the missile missed the target during shooting.
In the beginning of the next week the main part of the exercise will start. Its aim will be to prove and deepen cooperation of the NATO units during fighting activities against threats coming from the air. The enemy will be simulated by aircrafts and helicopters from the arsenal of several NATO armies.