Some 200 Czech personnel will take part in a NATO rapid reaction force exercise in neighboring Germany in September, the Czech Army has confirmed on its website. The operation, entitled ‘Strong Sword’ will take place from September 14 to October 2. In all, some 2,000 soldiers from several NATO countries are taking part. In a mock scenario, Strong Sword will require rapid response units to come to the “defense” of a NATO ally under Article 5.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is set to visit the Czech Republic in September. The government approved his visit on Thursday. Mr Stoltenberg, who has been invited by PM Bohuslav Sobotka, is set to come to Prague for a two-day visit on September 9. Among the main topics on his agenda will be the adaptation of NATO on the changing safety conditions, as well as NATO’s Readiness Action Plan approved at a summit in Wales last year, the government informed on its website.
More than 4,500 participants from eight nations, including the Czech Republic, are taking part in the military exercise Allied Spirit II at Hohenfels military training area in neighbouring Germany. For the first time in a NATO combined exercise, sources revealed, the Czech Army’s 7th Mechanized Brigade, under Colonel Josef Kopecký, is commanding the brigade headquarters. The script for the exercise, Colonel Josef Kopecký said, presented a modern military conflict, including hybrid elements, where an imagined European state was invaded by a regular army. The Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Armed Forces General Josef Bečvář has expressed satisfaction with the Czech troops so far. Allied Spirit II began on August 4 and will continue until the 24th.
Around 1,400 Czech soldiers have started to take part in what has been dubbed the most important NATO exercise of the year. The Czech contingent, together with around 430 pieces of equipment including light armoured personnel carriers, are taking part in the Allied Spirit II exercises which will continue in Germany until the end of the month. As well as Czech forces, those from Germany, Hungary, the United States, Canada, Britain, and non-NATO partners Serbia and Georgia are taking part. The exercises are being held on training grounds between Regensburg and Nuremberg.
A US military convoy, numbering around 100 vehicles and several hundred military personnel, will likely travel through the Czech Republic and neighbouring Slovakia in September to take part in a NATO ground forces military exercise in Hungary. The news was revealed by Czech Defence Minister Martin Stropnický, who said the announcement was tentative and that full details of the transfer were still to be discussed. US troops are expected to spend less than 48 hours in all on Czech soil, after they depart a US base in Vilseck, Germany. In March of this year, a similar convoy but greater in strength, dubbed the Dragoon Ride, travelled through the Czech Republic following operations in the Baltic States.
Czech Gripen jets have begun protecting Icelandic airspace, a mission which will run until August 25. Four of the Swedish-leased jets will patrol the skies over the country while a fifth jet is being kept in reserve. Czech pilots are guarding airspace over Iceland for a second time; the Czech military also served in similar missions in the Baltic states as a member of NATO. On Wednesday, the Czechs took over duties from the Royal Canadian Air Force, whose pilots will now reportedly take part in airstrikes against the terrorist group Islamic State.
The head of NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation Jean-Paul Paloméros met with Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Armed Forces Josef Bečvář in Prague on Wednesday to discuss the defence budget and exercises of NATO rapid reaction forces. On the agenda was the Noble Jump exercise of these forces held in Poland in June, which Mr Paloméros called a great success. This year, Czech units are set to participate in several NATO joint defence exercises. Jean-Paul Paloméros, who heads one of the two strategic commands within the NATO structure, will continue his visit of the Czech Republic on Thursday.
joining NATO The Czech Republic will support Montenegro’s ambition to join NATO this year, the Czech Prime Minsietr Bohuslav Sobotka said after meeting with his Montenegrin counterpart Milo Dukanovic on Thursday. The Czech Prime Minister said Montenegro should be the first new country to join NATO. Economic cooperation was also among the topics on the agenda. Mr Dukanovic said Montenegro is ready to sign a deal worth 350 million euros with the Czech engineering company Škoda Praha for supplying a coal-fired power plant in Pljevlje. Škoda Praha won the tender along with nine other companies earlier this year
Czech general Petr Pavel took up Friday what is regarded as the second highest post in the NATO military alliance. The position of chairman of the Military Committee is the top position in the 28-member alliance with Pavel being the main military advisor to the NATO Secretary General. Pavel is not only the first Czech but also the first person from the former Soviet bloc to occupy such a high post in the alliance. His mandate runs for three years with the possibility of a further extension.
Additional paratroopers from the Czech 43rd Airborne Battalion departed from Pardubice on Friday to take part in the NATO military exercise Noble Jump 2015 in neighbouring Poland. Sixty-five soldiers left in the second group, a military representative confirmed for the Czech News Agency. In all 150 Czech personnel are taking part. The first group left earlier this week.
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