Force Development: more details revealed

Force Development: more details revealed
Author: Petr Prouza|Caption: Land Rover Defender 130 Kajman
17 / 07 / 2018, 10:00

There are three major projects in the domain of force development of the Czech Army: formation of a Cybernetic Forces and Information Operations Headquarters, an Airborne Regiment based on the existing 43rd Airborne Battalion, and a Host Nation Support (HNS) battalion. More details have been revealed during yesterday’s meeting of the Chief of General Staff Aleš Opata with the media.

See also: Modernization Projects of the Czech Army

The Cybernetic Forces and Information Operations HQ would be formed at the beggining of 2019 in Brno. The aim is to integrate the already existing units and to create missing parts. The existing Computer Incident Response Capability (CIRC) Centre of the Communication and Information Systems (CIS) Agency, subordinated to the Division of Support of the Ministry of Defence, an element of cybernetic security within the defence department, would enter the new structure. It is planned that strenght of the new HQ would reach 400 or 500 members, and the costs, excluding the personnel, hundreds of millions of Czech Crowns. The active element of the unit would be created in July 2019, the HQ should become operational in 2020, and fully operational in 2025.

Colonel of the General Staff Miroslav Feix, Deputy Director of the Special Forces, charged with the formation of the Cybernetic forces HQ, said that the cybernetic attacks become threat to the national security, and that „we must create cybernetic forces capable to conduct combat operations withing cyberspace and participate in joint operations.“

The initiative suits conclusions of the last NATO Brussels Summit which defined cyber and hybrid attacks as enduring challenges and threats the Alliance faces: „Cyber threats to the security of the Alliance are becoming more frequent, complex, destructive, and coercive.  NATO will continue to adapt to the evolving cyber threat landscape, which is affected by both state and non-state actors, including state-sponsored.  Cyber defence is part of NATO’s core task of collective defence. (…) We are determined to deliver strong national cyber defences through full implementation of the Cyber Defence Pledge, which is central to enhancing cyber resilience and raising the costs of a cyber attack. (…) We will further develop our partnership with industry and academia from all Allies to keep pace with technological advances through innovation.“

See also: Hybrid Threats: artificial intelligence, cybernetics and robotics

Lieutenant-colonel Ivo Zelinka, deputy commander of the 43rd Airborne Battalion, is charged with the formation of the Airborne Regiment. The unit will be composed of its command element, staff of combat training, airborne operations training centre, and five combat commandos: four of them formed by professional army, and one by the Active Reserve. Each commando would basically be a strenghtened airborne company, capable of independent action. The regiment will also have weapons, combat support, logistical and medical elements.

The preparation phase of the formation of the regiment is over, now the final executive decision is being awaited. The regiment should be formed on 1st October 2020, and become fully operational by 2026. The unit will be based in Chrudim, Pardubice region, at the current base of the 43rd Battalion, improved and completed with necessary installations.

See also: New Czech Airborne Regiment

Like the 43rd Airborne Battalion the Regiment will be using light vehicles, drones, modern anti-tank missile and precision-guided munition. The 43rd Battalion operates 79 Land Rover Defender 130 Kajmans, purchased in 2009. The newly formed regiment would get about a hundred of new vehicles, like for example the Long Range Patrol Vehicle (LRPV) CHEETAH presented during the Czech Ground Forces Day, Bahna 2018.  

Formation of a Host Nation Support (HNS) battalion „to provide effective support to NATO military activities and to achieve efficiencies and economies of scale through the best use of a host nation’s available resources“ was presented by the Deputy Chief of General Staff Miroslav Hlaváč. The unit should be formed on 1st January 2023, and become fully operational three years later. The Battalion will be composed of six companies: a command company, a host nation support company, a convoy transportation support company, two zone of concentration security companies, a logistics company, and a medical element. The unit will rely strongly on the Active Reserve.

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