Five Czech police officers, who have temporarily returned to the Czech
Republic from a military mission in Baghdad, are due to return to Iraq on
Saturday. The officers returned to Czechia 16 days ago due to a restricted
operation of the training centre in the Iraqi capitol.
The Minister of Interior, Jan Hamáček, said their the move had nothing to do with the development of the safety situation in the country. The Czech Army currently has around 40 soldiers and police officers in Iraq mainly working to train Iraqi security forces to fight against the ISIS militia.
They remained stationed in the country despite the conflict between the Us and Iran following the US drone strike on a leading Iranian general.
The Czech army launched its new 533 Unmanned Systems Battalion on Thursday. Currently the country’s armed forces operate a number of small drones, but according to Chief of the General Staff Aleš Opata, the army will soon buy at least one larger, heavier unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), capable of both reconnaissance and combat.
The Czech Army wants to buy at least one large combat drone for its new
Unmanned Systems Battalion, Chief of the General Staff Aleš Opata said in
Prostějov on Thursday at a ceremony marking the creation of the new army
The combat drone, an unmanned machine weighing several hundred kilograms will complement the already used smaller drones.
The Unmanned Systems Battalion which will have up to 300 members should start operating in October of this year and become fully operational by 2025.
The Czech Army is likely to spend more on military technology purchases
this year than at any time in its history. Some CZK 73 billion, double the
money spent last year, is set to be spent on modern armaments and
equipment, Czech Television reports. By far the largest of the strategic
contracts, worth CZK 50 billion, concerns the purchase of new armoured
Currently the Ministry of Defence is considering three options when it comes to the new armoured vehicles: Swedish made VC-90, the Austro-Spanish ASCOD tracked vehicle and the Lynx manufactured by Germany’s Rheinmetall. The Ministry of Defence will call for final offers in its tender in February.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Defence Ministry officials have moved to quell concerns over the security of Czech soldiers and police officers serving in Iraq. The general chief of staff said precautions had been taken to ensure the safety of the 40-member-strong Czech team and an emergency evacuation plan was in place should the need arise.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says the Czech Republic is not at present
considering withdrawing its troops from Iraq. Speaking on a visit to
Olomouc, Mr. Babiš confirmed an earlier statement from the General Staff
of the Czech Army that none of the country’s soldiers had been harmed
during overnight rocket attacks on two US bases in Iraq.
A Czech Ministry of Defence spokesman said no Czech soldiers had been stationed at the bases.
Iran said the strikes had been in retaliation for the killing last week of its military commander Qassem Suleimani.
A spokesperson for the Czech Army said its troops had halted exercises and were remaining at their bases, adding that it would await a decision on how to proceed from NATO command.
Almost 40 Czech soldiers are taking part in a NATO mission in Iraq and five Czech police officers are serving as instructors in Bagdad.
Amidst growing tension over the latest developments in the Middle East, following the killing of Iran’s military leader Qassem Soleimani in Iraq, the Czech foreign minister has joined calls for a level-headed approach to the crisis, warning that a further escalation of tension will not only destabilize the region, but put at risk the progress made in the war on terror.
With the arrival of the New Year, the Czech Army has deployed 1,000
soldiers to NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, the army said in
a statement on Thursday. The Czech soldiers will be on alert for the
entirety of 2020 and must be able to take action in a crisis situation
within five days.
Commander Petr Blecha said the Czechs had been preparing intensively to play a role in the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force since 2018. The task force was created following the Russian annexation of Crimea.
A few years ago I spent an unforgettable day with Jaroslav and Alžběta Hofrichter. It was 2013, Jaroslav was 93, Alžběta 91, and they were living in sheltered accommodation for Second World War veterans at Prague’s Military Hospital. I was there to hear their life story, a tale of courage, resilience, a touch of luck and, above all, of the enduring power of love. The Hofrichters were known by their many friends as the “turtledoves”. Having met them I could see why. If there is an elixir for a happy marriage, they had found it. Jaroslav spent four
Archaeologists unearth seven graves dating back to Great Moravian Empire
Czech Republic bracing for wind storm Sabine
Ron Perlman: Cinema is a much bigger art-form than superhero movies represent
“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
“Einstein in Bohemia” – part 1: how a Prague sojourn sparked his theory of general relativity, journey of self-discovery