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Czech News in English » News » Senate approves sending Czech air instructors to Iraq

Senate approves sending Czech air instructors to Iraq

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Prague, April 27 (CTK) – The Senate approved the plan to send 35 air instructors to Iraq to help train pilots of Czech L-159 aircraft within the fight against Islamic State at its session yesterday.
The plan is yet to be approved by the other house of parliament, the Chamber of Deputies, which has not started dealing with it yet.
The instructors may leave as soon as the plan wins the approval from both houses.
The Czech instructors are to operate in Iraq until the end of 2018.
The Czech military expects to send the instructors to the Balad base in early June. They should continue training Iraqi pilots who were until recently trained on L-159 aircraft in the Czech Republic which is selling the planes to Iraq.
Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky told the senators yesterday that the instructors would operate at the Balad air base about about 65 kilometres north of Baghdad and they would not take part in combat operations.
The Czech team will include two pilots, six technicians, eight patrols, a doctor, a commander, five staff members and their chief and six specialists in logistics and communication, Stropnicky said.
This team will have 30 members and further five troops would be sent to Iraq if the team needed to be reinforced, he said.
The mission is to cost 265 million crowns at most and it will be covered from the Czech defence budget.
($1=23.946 crowns)

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