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US army convoy to drive through Czech Republic next week

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Prague, May 19 (CTK) – A U.S. army convoy of about 500 soldiers and 225 vehicles will drive through the Czech Republic on May 27-30 on its way to the Baltic exercise Saber Strike, and the American soldiers will train with Czech troops during their stay in the country, the Czech General Staff told CTK on Thursday.

Czech Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky said NATO’s Saber Strike exercise is a reaction to the development of the security environment.

“(NATO) presents the solidarity and readiness of its member states to collective defence. This is also why a joint training of Czech and American soldiers will be held during the convoy’s transfer,” Stropnicky said.

The U.S. convoy will leave its home base in Vilseck, Germany, next Friday and its members will spend the night in the Prague-Ruzyne barracks.

Stropnicky and Czech Chief-of-Staff Josef Becvar will meet the U.S. troops in the afternoon on May 27.

On Saturday, the convoy will move to Moravia, the eastern part of the country, and spend two nights in Vyskov, near Brno, and Praslavice, near Olomouc. Jolana Fedorkova, from the General Staff press section, said a joint Czech-American military exercise focusing on shooting and driving will take place there.

On Sunday afternoon, the public can come to Vyskov to see the U.S. military vehicles and equipment.

On Monday, the U.S. convoy will leave Czech territory.

Becvar said the convoy will be divided in nine parts, for security reasons and so that it does not block traffic.

The convoy will be accompanied by the Czech police.

Last year, a U.S. army convoy drove through the country twice. Especially the first convoy attracted a lot of attention. Though critical voices were mostly heard before the convoy’s arrival, the American soldiers were welcomed by thousands of Czech supporters on their way and only small numbers of their opponents appeared.

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