Current Structure of the Czech Army – Combat Forces – the 4th RDB (2019)

Current Structure of the Czech Army – Combat Forces – the 4th RDB (2019)
Author:|Caption: Noble Jump 2015 VJTF exercise, 43rd Airborne Battalion
01 / 08 / 2019, 10:00

The Land Forces of the Czech Army consist of Combat Forces, Combat Support Forces and Combat Assistance Forces. The Combat Forces currently form two brigades : the 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade (the „light“ brigade) and the 7th Mechanised Brigade (the „heavy“ brigade), of four battalions each: 2 mechanised infantry battalions, 1 light motorised battalion, and 1 airborne battalion within the 4th brigade, and 1 tank battalion within the 7th brigade. This structure is going to be changed soon with the formation of a new Airborne Regiment based on the 43rd Airborne Battalion.

The 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade was formed officially on 1st July 1994. From the beggining the Brigade was subordinate directly to the Chief of General Staff. In 1997 the Brigade was transferred to the Land Forces Command, and it became part of the Immediate Response Force (IRF). On 8th May 1999 by order of the President of the Republic, Václav Havel, the Brigade received its honorary title of „Defence of the Nation“. Its units were deployed in the foreign operation in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and other.

See also: Force Development: more details revealed

The strenght of the Brigade was reduced in 2003 with the professionalization of the Army from ten down to three battalion, with two mechanised infantry battalions (41st and 42nd) and one airborne battalion (43rd), and in 2008 the 44th Light Motorised Battalion was formed, replacing the 153rd Rescue Battalion. In February 2017, the 4th Brigade was affiliated to the 10th Panzer Division of the German Bundeswehr.

Initially the mechanised infantry battalions were armed with the BVP-2 tracked infantry fighting vehicles. From 2010 they use the PANDUR II CZ wheeled infantry fighting vehicles. Each battalion consists of three mechanised infantry companies, a mortar battery, a logistic company and a command company.

The 43rd Airborne Battalion is a light airborne battalion of the commando type (the only one within the Czech Army). It is the main expeditionary force of the Czech Army due to it’s high mobility. It consists of three parts: combat (three airborne companies), combat support (weapons company) and logistics (logistic company), and can operate within the Brigade’s structure or independently.

See also: New Czech Airborne Regiment

The 44th Light Motorised Battalion is using the IVECO LMV light armoured vehicles. The main task of this battalion is in particular convoy escorts, urban and mountain warfare.

Each battalion also has a company of the Active Reserve.

See also: Czech Army’s Active Reserve – numbers are rising (should be 5,000 by 2025)

Two of the past commanders of the 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade became Chiefs of General Staff of the Czech Army: Jiří Šedivý commanded the brigade in 1994 and 1995, and the current Chief of General Staff, Aleš Opata, from 2003 to 2008.

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