Members of the 13th Guard Company BAF have returned from Afghanistan

 03. 05. 2020      category: Army of the Czech Republic

The last group of 39 members of the 13th Guard Company BAF returned from Afghanistan on Thursday, 30th April.  In the afternoon, the military Airbus landed at the airport Kbely and from there they moved to the Těchonín Biological Protection Centre where they will enter the preventive 14-days quarantine after their return from the foreign operation. Afterwards, they will be able to join their home base.

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Picture: The last group of 39 members of the 13th Guard Company BAF returned from Afghanistan on Thursday, 30th April. | army.cz

The 13th Guard Company BAF operated in Afghanistan within the Task Force of the Army of the Czech Republic, the Resolute Support Mission (TF ACR RSM) in support of the alliance operation Resolute Support. The unit took over the operation task at the Bagram base on 16th October, 2019 and fulfilled it until the end of March 2020. Members of the Guard Company carried out inspections of the outer perimeter of the security zone of the Bagram base and participated in the protection and defence of the base along with the American, Georgian and Afghan partners with the aim to prevent hostile activities aimed at the Bagram base. 

The unit mainly carried out the patrolling activity on the vehicles with the support of the tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle ScanEagle. Moreover, it also participated in the training, advisory activity and assistance to Afghan security forces in maintaining a secure environment in the allocated area. After completing the operational task in April, the unit revised and prepared the material for transport.  

"Based on the request of the allies which the Czech part complied with, our operation was extended by three months. Even with this extension of the length of the mission, it did not exceed seven months for any soldier. Moreover, we were already warned about this possibility before the departure to Afghanistan," explained the company commander, the Captain Josef Kozelek.  

The 13th Guard Company consisted of 173 members in total, mostly from the 43rd Parachute Battalion from Chrudim, who were supplemented by personnel based on the required specialization from other units and facilities of the Army of the Czech Republic. 

"We have fulfilled the tasks of the Guard Company at the Bagram base since 2013 and over 2000 of our soldiers took turns there. Our mission at the Bagram base is over. It was a challenging mission that cost the lives of our several soldiers. However, we have always fully fulfilled the task to protect and defend the base. I am proud of our soldiers," said Major General Josef Kopecký, the Commander of the Operation Headquarters. The first Guard Company, still under the command of the ISAF mission, was formed by members of the 73rd Tank Battalion with 149 soldiers. The Battalions of the 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade and the 7th Mechanized Brigade continuously took turns in the construction of the contingents. The Contingent was built by the 102nd Reconnaissance Battalion from Prostějov only in once case. 

"As part of the reorganization of the Task Force of the Army of the Czech Republic in the operation Resolute Support, we are now concentrating on training the Afghan Special Forces and supporting Alliance forces," added the General Officer Kopecký.