Part of the US convoy travelled to the West Bohemian town of Plzeň to pay homage to the US soldiers who died liberating Czechoslovakia in WWII. Over a thousand people congregated in the streets of the city to greet them as the troops made their way to the Thank You America Memorial to lay wreaths and flowers. The US Ambassador to Prague Andrew Shapiro who was also present said the US soldiers were given a great reception, confirming the people’s strong support for NATO and the US.
The US convoy which spent the day in Prague on Tuesday attracted crowds of people to the army’s Ruzyně barracks. Hundreds of people, including families with children, braved the cold weather cuing up in wind and rain to greet the troops and inspect US military technology close-up. The US troops also got a visit from Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Defense Minister Martin Stropnický and the US Ambassador to Prague Andrew Schapiro. Prime Minister Sobotka said that the country’s security was strengthened by the US presence in Europe and he was glad that the majority of Czechs clearly appreciated the fact.
Thousands of Czechs have been lining roads and motorways to welcome US soldiers passing through the country after manoeuvres in the Baltics. This public support has reportedly been more enthusiastic than on other stages on their trek – evidently in response to media coverage of anti-American voices in recent weeks.
The first part of an American convoy travelling across the Czech Republic headed for army barracks in an outer Prague district experienced delays on the road on Monday, travelling from Liberec, the Czech Army reported. An unrelated road accident slowed traffic, leading the convoy to transfer to an alternate route. Three columns of US forces are travelling across the Czech Republic from the Baltic states after taking part in the operation Atlantic Resolve. The aim was to highlight NATO and the United States’ dedication to stability in Europe in the face of Russian intervention in Ukraine. The convoy of some 120 vehicles and 500 personnel will regroup in Prague before later continuing the journey to Plzeň and to the army’s home base in neighbouring Germany.
The 120 vehicle strong US military convoy, which is crossing six countries on its way back from operation Atlantic Resolve in the Baltic states, is now travelling through the Czech Republic. The convoy, made up largely of the eight-wheeled armoured combat vehicles Strykers and Humvees crossed the Czech-Polish border after 10 am on Sunday and is heading for the towns of Výskov, Pardubice and Liberec where the approximately 500 US troops will spend the night at the Czech army’s military barracks. The convoy which is to demonstrate NATO unity and US commitment to stability in Europe, will spend four days in the Czech Republic before heading for its home base in Bavaria. Both supporters and protesters are expected to line parts of the route but, according to a recent survey 82 percent of Czechs said they have no problem with the convoy passing through.
The 120 vehicle strong US military convoy, which is expected to cross Czech territory on its way back to Germany from a NATO military exercise in the Baltic states, is due to arrive at the Polish-Czech border at around 10 .30 am on Sunday. The convoy, which is travelling through six NATO member states to demonstrate NATO unity and US commitment to stability in Europe, will spend four days in the Czech Republic before heading for its home base in Bavaria. It is expected to meet both with supporters and opponents who disapprove of what they describe as NATO muscle-flexing on Czech territory. On the eve of its arrival several hundred people gathered on Wenceslas Square to air their views. Protesters, largely communist party sympathizers, mingled with supporters carrying US flags and the two comps engaged in heated verbal disputes. The police was out in force to keep the demonstrations under control. According to a recent poll 82 percent of Czechs have no problem with the convoy passing through and Czech politicians have repeatedly stressed that the US convoy is an allied force, not a foreign army.
Defense Minister Martin Stropnický said all was in readiness for the 120
vehicle strong US military convoy, which is expected to pass through Czech
territory at the end of this week. Speaking at a press briefing in Prague
on Friday the minister said the smallest details had been taken care of to
ensure a smooth transfer, and all was in readiness both at the military
barracks where the soldiers will be staying the night as well as along the
given route. Traffic police are prepared for the event and we have all the
necessary licenses, the minister noted. The cost of the operation
–estimated at 175,000 crowns will be covered by the US army.
The convoy, returning from a NATO exercise called Operation Atlantic Resolve in the Baltic states, is travelling through six countries on its way to a military base in Germany. It will arrive in the Czech Republic on Sunday and spend four days on Czech territory.
A US military convoy will arrive in the Czech Republic at the weekend and is expected to be met by both supporters as well as demonstrations in areas, divided over NATO membership over Russian intervention in Ukraine. Critics charge that opposition to the convoy has been artificially whipped up by groups long opposed to NATO membership. A poll conducted by the STEM agency released on Thursday suggested that in fact a vast majority of Czechs – 82 percent – had no issue with the convoy travelling through Czech territory.
A new poll conducted by the STEM agency suggests that a vast majority of Czechs have no issue with a US military convoy passing through Czech territory in the coming days on a return journey from the Baltics. According to the poll, 82 percent of respondents said they were fine with the transfer, while 17 percent said they were against. The convoy of 118 armored vehicles and around 500 personnel is returning to a military base in Germany. The US forces took part in a NATO show of strength and unity in the Baltic states entitled Atlantic Resolve, to reassure members of their continuing commitment to stability in Europe in the face of Russian intervention in Ukraine. The convoy will travel through the Czech Republic between March 29 and April 1.
Czech Minister of Defence Martin Stropnický has downplayed criticism of a NATO military convoy set to traverse Czech territory on Sunday. The convoy is designed as a show of force on the military alliance’s eastern flank, but has met with opposition from some Czechs, sensitive to the idea of any foreign troops on its soil.