Military exercise HRADBA: Simulation of measures after terrorist attacks in Europe by using NATO scenarios

 19. 02. 2020      category: Active Reserve

So far, the last exercise HRADBA 2018 was at a significantly higher level in respect to its theme, scope, complexity of preparation and mainly implementation than the previous exercise HRADBA 2016 that took place in the military training area Libavá in the spring of 2016. The media mentioned that 1,100 reservists were called four years ago, while 1400 of them were called two years ago. It does not create higher level of the exercise. It is the result of an increasing number of active reservists in each unit.

Brno-spol-hlídka (1)
Picture: Joint patrol of the Czech Police and active army reserve in Brno |

The military exercise HRADBA 2018 was based on the Skolkan scenario which has been used by many NATO countries, and the Czech ground forces have many years of experience with it. Only part of this complex scenario was used for the purposes of the exercise. Very simply – on the background of fictitious history, there was a conflict arising outside the Czech Republic. The Army of the Czech Republic sent a brigade task force there and its rotation is being prepared now. On the territory of the Czech Republic there are enemy units and groups that attack important state infrastructure. The Government of the Czech Republic has decided to call the AZ units for the operational deployment to strengthen the protection and defence of objects important for the defence of the state (ODOS) and strengthen the task fulfilment of the Police of the Czech Republic.

Picture: Map of the Skolkan Scenario

Each unit in the exercise HRADBA 2018 performed a different task, cooperating with a different part of the Police and Aliens Police.  None of the reservists could say that he was doing the same thing as the colleague on the other side of the republic. The exercise has never been performed in such a number and to such an extent. Each reservist was familiar with the basic theme. They needed to know that they were the part of that system. Then the theme showed the situation when our professional units, within the escalation of some crisis in Europe, would be deployed in a foreign operation, the next part would be prepared for their substitution and the crisis situation would intensify and graduate. Given the size of our army we would certainly need those units that would be able to solve small crisis, but still crisis.

Picture: Members of the Karlovy Vary Infantry Company during a joint patrol with the Police of the Czech Republic |

The active reserve is being prepared for the above-mentioned situations in order to be able to intervene if the professional army is outside the country or at home, but its capacity is no longer sufficient. Each reservist must feel as the part of the system and be aware that he belongs to the army. It is a custom to talk about the army and active reserve separately. But that is not the case, the active reserve is the part of the army. 

The Army plans another major exercise of the active reserve HRADBA in 2021. The established Territorial Headquarters in Tábor, which task, among other things, is to manage and coordinate the training for the AZ infantry companies at the Regional Military Commands, will have an important role.  Antonín Genser, who led the exercise HRADBA 2018 is the Commander of the Territory Headquarters.

A very nice documentary (see below), accompanied by the famous actor Ondřej Vetchý, was created during the last exercise HRADBA 2018. The filming took 8 days in Prague, Central Bohemia, Liberec, Kadan and West Bohemia. About 15 hours of recorded material was created and some of the outputs were used in programmes that were on the WAR TV and Kinosvět. The actor Ondřej Vetchý often arrived at the filming during the pauses between other filming and his support and admiration for the soldiers was not pretended. This documentary is the last documentary depicting the national AZ exercise.

Video: Documentary film from the military exercise HRADBA 2018 with Ondřej Vetchý / YouTube

By far, the documentary does not capture all the environment and training situations of the nationwide military exercise but it is a tribute to all the AZ soldiers, whose deployment is significantly aimed at the watchkeeping personnel, neglected with respect. This document has not been publicly published anywhere.

The author of the project and the director Jan Juřica has been intensively interested in the activities of the AZ for more than 6 years. During his active involvement a range of projects that represent the life of the AZ members, were created.  In this context, we can name, for instance, TV projects:  Až na dno,  Na týden záložákem, AZ od A do zet, etc.

 Author: Martin Šiška