Monday, 21 April 2014

Czech PRT ends Afghanistan mission

ČTK |
1 February 2013

Kabul, Jan 31 (CTK) - The Czech provincial reconstruction team (PRT) in the Logar province in Afghanistan has ended its five-year mission, Defence Ministry spokeswoman Jana Zechmeisterova told journalists today.

During its mission, it completed 141 reconstruction projects.

Now roughly 100 soldiers will serve in Logar with the task of moving the material back from the base to the Czech Republic.

In the future, a military advisory team will be in the province in order to help train one of the battalions of the Afghan military, Zechmeisterova said.

The PRT, consisting of civilian experts and their armed military protection unit, served in Afghanistan since March 2008.

During its five-year existence, almost 2500 soldiers served in it.

Ten members of Czech armed forces were wounded during their service in the foreign mission and one died.

Czech soldiers in Logar were in charge of the training of Afghan security forces, which means the police, military and secret service.

They also ensured security for the work of civilian experts.

The experts focused on the construction of schools, hospitals and civil service facilities in Logar.

They also managed water projects. In the Khoshi district, they helped build a dam and a number of weirs and repaired local aqueducts that are used by the local population instead of wells.

In 2012, the civilian part of the PRT had the budget of 62 million crowns.

Czechs soldiers have been within the ISAF mission in Afghanistan since 2002.

Along with the PRT base in Logar, the Czech military has a base in Kabul and also trains Afghan troops in the Wardak province.

Chief of staff Petr Pavel has said the number of Czech troops in Afghanistan will fall from the current more than 500 to about 150 by the end of 2014.

With a new mandate, they will fill assistance tasks such as the repair of helicopters, training of specialists and help with methodological preparation of command.

The combat troops will be the first to leave and the logistics units the last.

($1=18.949 crowns)

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