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Exhibition on war veterans, foreign missions opens in Prague

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Prague, Nov 10 (CTK) – A new exhibition describing 12,900 modern-era war veterans and 40 foreign missions of the Czech military, prepared by the Military History Institute, opened outside the general staff headquarters in Prague on the eve of the War Veterans Day yesterday.
The modern era of foreign missions of the Czech military started 25 years ago when 200 Czech and Slovak soldiers were deployed in the Desert Storm operation in Kuwait.
The Czechoslovak chemical warfare unit supported the allies fighting Saddam Hussein’s government.
Since then, Czech troops have participated in 39 missions, in some of them as individuals, while in others, hundreds or even thousands rotated. These have been the UNPROFOR, IFOR, SFOR and KFOR operations in the Balkans.
The foreign missions were not survived by 25 of Czech troops. Most of them died in Afghanistan and the Balkans.
In all, the Czech military registers over 12,900 latter-day war veterans, spokesman Jan Sulc has said.
Taking into account its extent, the exhibition only focuses on some of the missions.
“We were choosing them according to their focus, somewhat along the geographical lines,” Jindrich Marek, who helped prepare the exhibition, has told CTK.
This is why the exhibition reminds of the roots in World War One and World War Two, the U.N. missions in Iraq and NATO operations in Balkans, ending with the deployment in Afghanistan and Mali.
“It is very good that we are going back to the roots, the Czechoslovak legions that helped establish the independent Czechoslovakia in 1918, that we are returning to the fighters from the eastern and western fronts,” Chief of Staff Josef Becvar said.
“There are also the latter-day veterans, individual missions starting with 1991 and ending with the present,” Becvar said.

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