Reinforced Containers and Superstructures: Pride of the Domestic Defence Industry

 17. 03. 2020      category: Army of the Czech Republic

Army drivers from the 14th Logistic Support Regiment transported nearly 7,000 tons of all sorts of material last year and drove over 350,000 kilometres. Compared to 2018, there has been a 14% increase in freight transport and it is likely that the figure will rise again this year.

“Transport technology is on the go basically 365 days a year. If we simplify it a lot, we can say that every day we travel a distance equal to the way to the seaside in Split, Croatia,” says Lieutenant Colonel Karel Kostelecký, the Chief of the 14th Logistic Support Regiment.

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Picture: Logisticians use for transport mainly Tatra trucks in various modifications | army.cz

Most often - in about 95 percent - logisticians use road infrastructure. Less than five percent of them travel with their support and assistance by rail. “Road transport is the most advantageous with regard to the technical equipment of the logistic regiment. Trucks make up the largest share, mainly Tatra and its modifications," Kostelecký added.

The 14th Logistic Support Regiment's facilities are generally used by other units of the Army of the Czech Republic if they are unable to secure their own transport. Logisticians do not carry freight only within the Czech Republic, a large portion of them goes to foreign operations within Europe - such as Latvia, Lithuania or Poland. In recent years, for example, they regularly shipped material to the Shaikovac base in Kosovo.

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Picture: Logisticians from Pardubice also provide transport of material intended for foreign operation within Europe | army.cz

The Future is in Containers

The difficulty of transport obviously increases with the amount of material, its manipulability and the variability of stocking. And so the army has been adopting the trend of using containers. They are among other things a great building block for field outposts where we can find kitchens, social facilities or accommodation in the containers. "In these specific containers, everything is mounted and prepared for an immediate use.  Building an outpost is thanks to this solution a question of moments. Container transport is effective also because it is standardized and unified for all kinds of transport - road, rail, sea or air," says Karel Kostelecký.

Armies all around the world use containers not only for a safe transport of materials but also as a sheltered base for various services and equipment necessary for military operations away from the home base. Containers are thus replacing or supplementing military tents and the Army of the Czech Republic is using a number of containers and superstructures, which have become an indispensable helper.

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Picture: Building a field outpost is significantly easier nowadays thanks to containers | army.cz

The KARBOX s.r.o. company is the front manufacturer of containers and box bodies in the Czech Republic and has become an indispensable element of the domestic defence industry. The manufacturing programme of the KARBOX s.r.o. company includes containers and container superstructures, certified containers, custom-made sandwich panels and box bodies for commercial vehicles of all brands. It’s been delivering supplies to NSPA since 2009. That is how the company has become important not only at the domestic market, but also in the world, where it has delivered a number of solutions for foreign armies.

But back to our army. It uses a broad scale of containers with a special built-up area but also some basic ones, let's say, with field kitchen, mobile storage etc. There are also hospital and mortuary containers. From a tactical point of view, it would be a great solution to e.g. use containers and special superstructures as a mobile headquarters. It nowadays comprises mostly of tents, but to lay out such a place is quite demanding time-wise. Considering the necessity of a quick mobility, containers seem to be a more effective solution.

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Picture: Container transport is a trend in transport nowadays | army.cz

The idea of broad use of containers is no news. The American army used them already in Vietnam. The Americans used containers as command/control posts, shelters, pharmacies, shops etc. Standardized steel boxes offered thousands of square meters of sheltered space, which had been missing in the place of deployment.