Our bomb disposal experts from Bechyně got new equipment from the USA
Members of the bomb disposal squad of the Bechyně engineering base accepted the delivery of the last part of the pyrotechnical equipment from the US partners. The Army of the Czech Republic received almost four and a half million US dollars worth of material under two foreign cooperation programs (Foreign Military Financing and Global Train and Equip Program) focused on the free acquisition of military material.
The specialized equipment, selected according to the requirements of the Army of the Czech Republic, will serve to build the army's abilities to support coalition foreign operations. The handover of the equipment was attended by Major General Ivo Střecha, Director of the Force Development Division, on part of the General Staff of the Czech Army, and as a representative of the American side served the US Rear Admiral Francis D. Morley, Director of the Navy International Programs Office, together with representatives of the US Embassy in Prague.
“I consider it essential to have the same equipment, training and procedures in foreign operations. This has worked very well in our joint operations in Afghanistan,” commented the reasons for the project Rear Admiral Morley.
Cooperation since 1996
Both projects originated in the framework of a bilateral cooperation in 1996 between the armies of the Czech Republic and the United States. Engineer troops have been using this cooperation to modernize their equipment since 2010. “This project was approved in 2017. The first supply was delivered in 2018 and supplemented with material the EOD Group, which supports our troops at the guard unit at the Bagrám base,” added General Střecha. Bomb experts (Explosive Ordnance Disposal, EOD) are still operating here.
Equipment not only for missions
This equipment is primarily intended for alliance foreign operations. Detection devices and robots with detection devices are designed for bomb experts, who will support chemical units assigned to NATO's Response Force (NRF) next year. Some of the detectors, such as detectors of metals and explosives, will also be used to clean up former military areas. The equipment will also be available for supporting the Integrated Rescue System.
Not only material, but also training
The delivery of specialized material included robots to support the activities of the bomb disposal squad, various types of detectors of radiation, gaseous and chemical substances, conductor detectors, night vision devices, helmets for EOD operators, including software for reporting pyrotechnical incidents. The project also includes training in the operation of robots. “We have superbly trained specialists who are in high demand within the Alliance. With the material we have acquired, we are raising this ability to another level,” commented on the acquired equipment Colonel of the General Staff Jiří Tršo, Commander of the 15th Engineer Regiment at Bechyně.
Under the FMF program, the Army of the Czech Republic has acquired equipment for its specialists in four similar projects.