The Czech soldiers will take part in more than 130 foreign exercises this year

 19. 01. 2020      category: Army of the Czech Republic

The Czech Army soldiers will take part in 132 exercises that will take place abroad.  They will go to Germany and Slovakia the most often, but less common destinations such as Jordan have also been planned.

There will be some exercises that will take place in Slovakia, for example the Lešť Exercise 1 and 2 that is focused on preparation of units for deployment in Mali or Afghanistan or the Toxic Leak I-III that is designated for chemical specialists and during which real chemical weapons will be used.

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Picture: The Czech Army soldiers will take part in 132 exercises that will take place abroad. | 1st Lt. Lucie Masaříková, army.cz

The Czechs will participate in the European Challenge 2020 exercise that prepares for participation in rapid response forces.  According to the Czech Armed Forces, it is a training activity of forces assigned to EU Battlegroup under the German lead.  300 Czech soldiers with 85 vehicles will take part in the exercise. 

We will participate also in traditional Tobruq Legacy.  The exercise of the surface-based air defence units is organized according to the rotation principle.  While it took place in Poland last year, this year it will be held in Lithuania.  It is the fifth exercise in a row and is specific for its size and focus. 

The Czech soldiers will improve their skills not only in Europe but also in the United States or in Canada that are also our traditional partners.  As far as less common destinations are concerned, the experts from Liberec will also go on exercise that takes place in Jordan and focuses on nuclear, chemical and biological protection.

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Picture: From the international exercise European Falcon 2019 in the Training Area in Bergen, Germany | army.cz

Diver Hell with Polish specialists

The exercise Diver Hell will be held in Poland and the Czech special forces from Prostějov will meet there the members of Polish special unit Formoza. The two-week training of combat divers will take place under realistic conditions in the extreme environment of the Baltic Sea.  It will be focused on strikes on ships, operations from water to solid objects and material transport over long distances while using underwater equipment.

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Picture: Polish special unit Formoza | formoza.wp.mil.pl

Not only abroad but also at home

The Czech training areas will not definitely be empty this year.  60 exercises will be held there, and the Czech Armed Forces will be the host. 

“Joint Fires will be one of the most important exercises that have been planned to take place this year in the Czech Republic and 250 soldiers from Slovakia, Poland and Germany will participate in it. There is also Ample Strike and 400 soldiers from 18 countries will take part in it” said Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Armed Forces General Aleš Opata. 

Joint Fires is a traditional artillery exercise and its goal is to deepen the cooperation concerning fire support.  Ample Strike is intended for forward air crews with flight crews and ground commanders in direct air support operations. Training of Air Force active reserve units, Host Nation Support skills verification and pilot training in aerial refuelling will also play important role in the exercise. 

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Picture: DANA 77 self-propelled gun howitzer in the international exercise Joint Fires 2019 | army.cz

This year the Army and Ministry of Defence have also put together a plan for exercises consisting of four areas that were chosen based on political and military priorities.  The areas are training for deployment in operations, rapid response forces, bilateral and regional cooperation and building capacities.  “Military exercises with foreign partners are a key tool to gain a needed level of forces´ preparedness to defend the Czech Republic and the allies and they are a necessary part of preparation for deployment in operations and in rapid response forces of international organizations” emphasized Minister of Defence Lubomír Metnar in December.

 Author: Libor Želinský