Czech military plans to attend 132 foreign exercises in 2020


10. 12. 2019 • 11:45

The Czech military is to take part in 132 exercises abroad in 2020, while 60 exercises for the armed forces of other countries may take place in the Czech Republic, according to their plan that the government approved yesterday.

The allied forces will train in the Czech Republic without a direct cooperation with the Czech military five times next year.

"Military exercises with foreign partners are primarily a key tool to achieve the necessary level of preparedness of the defence sector's forces and means serving to defend the Czech Republic and its allies," Jakub Fajnor, from the Defence Ministry press section, has told CTK.

During the exercises, soldiers also prepare for their deployment in foreign operations and emergency forces that the Czech military allocates to NATO, the European Union and the UN.

Exercises with the allies also increase the "interoperability" or the ability to operate jointly and test how the units are prepared.

One of the most important military exercises abroad is European Challenge 2020.

"This is a training activity of the forces and means earmarked for the EU Battlegroup under German command," Fajnor said, adding that the Czech military will send 300 soldiers and 85 pieces of equipment to this exercise in Germany.

"Battlegroup" means the EU joined emergency forces to tackle crises. They have not been deployed yet.

Some 90 Czech soldiers will train for the missions in Afghanistan and Mali at the Lest Exercise 1 and 2, held in the Lest military training grounds in Slovakia, focused on fighting in built-in areas and inside buildings.

The main exercises held in the Czech territory are Joint Fires and Ample Strike. The former is to deepen cooperation in fire support, Fajnor added.

Some 250 artillery troops from the armed forces of Slovakia, Poland and German with 69 pieces of equipment will take part in the Joint Fires exercise to be held at the Hradiste military grounds, west Bohemia.

The aim of the Ample Strike exercise is the training of forward air controllers with aircraft crews and ground force commanders during direct air support. A total of 400 soldiers from 18 countries with almost 50 pieces of aviation equipment will participate in the training.