Saturday, 6 October 2018

V4 EU Battlegroup with 728 Czech troops to be on standby in 2016

ČTK |
30 December 2015

Prague, Dec 29 (CTK) - The Czech army will send 728 soldiers, mainly logisticians, to the EU Battlegroup formed by Visegrad Group (V4) countries that will be on standby from January to June, Ladislav Jung, who will be the deputy commander at the battlegroup´s operational headquarters, has told CTK.

Czech engineers, a helicopter unit and an electronic combat team will be ready for deployment within the battlegroup, Jung said.

Chief-of-Staff Josef Becvar said the Czech Republic is mainly responsible for health and logistics support in the Visegrad battlegroup that will have over 3700 troops.

Half of the battlegroup will be Polish soldiers. Hungary and Slovakia will send about 640 and 460 troops, respectively. Poland will command the battlegroup.

"The Polish military is really the biggest, compared to the three other armies. It has resources that enable it to earmark a considerable part of the manoeuvre combat forces for the battlegroup," Jung said.

Poland recently opened a new operational centre in Cracow, from which the possible operations may be commanded.

Hungary will provide mainly combat engineers and Slovakia a unit for protection against weapons of mass destruction.

The EU battlegroup has never been used as yet. Czech Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky said previously the deployment of a part of the battlegroup seemed possible to him.

Jung said the whole battlegroup was ready for deployment.

He said a political decision would have to be made first if the battlegroup was to be used in connection with the migration crisis.

The Czechs would provide four Mi-171S helicopters and one CASA transport aircraft. The Czech military doctors will be prepared to build a multinational field hospital, the logisticians may set up a joint ammunition store or provide a transport unit. About 60 Czech soldiers will join the battlegroup´s command.

The troops would be ready for deployment in five to ten days, depending on the type of the unit. They may be sent anywhere in the world, up to 6000 km from Brussels for up to 120 days.

Jung said the work of the troops selected for the V4 EU Battlegroup would not radically change during the next six months, unless they were deployed.

He said the preparation of the joint V4 battlegroup lasted some 18 months.

The V4 countries will again offer their joint battlegroup to the EU in 2019.

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