43rd Airborne Battalion – Czech paratroopers in Saber Junction 2018

43rd Airborne Battalion – Czech paratroopers in Saber Junction 2018
Author: Jana Deckerová, army.cz|Caption: Saber Junction 2018
27 / 09 / 2018, 10:00

Nearly 5,500 participants from 20 NATO and partner nations, including the Czech Republic, participate in Saber Junction 18 exercise at the U.S. Army's Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels Training Areas from 4th September to 1st October 2018. The exercise is designed to assess the readiness of the U.S. Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade to land operations in a joint combined environment and to promote interoperability with participating allies and partner nations.

Participating nations are: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, Republic of North Macedonia, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States. The U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard will also support Saber Junction 18 by providing personnel air and air landing support of airfield seizure.

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The Czech Army is represented by nearly 200 paratroopers from the 43rd Airborne Battalion of the 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade. The commander of the Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel Jiří Adamec said: „A company-strong force of our paratroopers takes part at the certification exercise of the American Airborne Brigade, they belong to the 91st Reconnaissance Battalion and carry out a wide spectrum of operations within the given scenario of a conflict of medium intensity.“

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The mass jump of nearly a thousand of paratroopers was a valuable experience for the Czech soldiers, Lieutenant-Colonel Adamec added. The Czech paratroopers used the T11 and T10 American parachutes for the mass jump, executed from 250 meters from the C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft. The Czech detachment does not have any other equipment but the one the soldiers jumped in with, and they are now operating within the designated area until 1st October.

According to Major Roman Příhonský, second in command of the 43rd Airborne Battalion, the first task is to examine the capabilities of the troops, such as tactical airborne insertions, aeromobile operations,  or combat patrols, ambushes and raids. This year the 43rd Airborne Battalion met the full operational capabilities according to the CREVAL (Combat REadiness EVALuation) program.

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The Combat Readiness Evaluation (CREVAL) program is a generic program where the same areas and evaluation methodology are used for all types of NATO Land Forces.  The aims of the CREVAL program is first to evaluate and verify the Combat Readiness of Land Forces declared to NATO.  The second is to provide the commander of each unit with recommendations comments and feedback to improve that respective force. Which is the other task of the Czech participation at the Saber Junction 18 exercise.

And last but not least: “The last task of the unit is also to examine the basic tactical precedures of the smallest elements of the airborne troops with the aim to implement new procedures and methods concerning the development  of the training of the airborne troops, and eventually to get ready for the transformation of the battalion to regiment,” Major Příhonský said.

Within the Alliance the members of the 43rd Airborne Battalion are seen as expert troops, and the invitation by the U.S. 173rd Airborne Brigade to participate at the Saber Junction 18  exercise and the longterm cooperation is the best assurance that the Czech Army is a reliable partner for our allies, and a solid member of NATO.

Source: army.cz, 7atc.army.mil

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