Prague, Feb 23 (CTK) – Czech Chief-of-Staff Josef Becvar and Defence Minister Karla Slechtova (ANO) decorated 97 soldiers on their return from foreign missions on Prague’s Vitkov Hill on Friday.
Becvar and Slechtova told reporters after a ceremonial formation of troops that the missions were helping to improve the capabilities of individual soldiers and of the military as a whole.
The minister would like to reinforce the Czech military participation in foreign missions and mentioned the NATO training mission in the Baltic region, saying it is to enhance cooperation between the individual NATO member countries.
She also said the nature of the missions Czechs participate in was changing.
“Originally, soldiers went to fight on missions 15 years ago,” she said.
“Currently, we are teaching the Iraqis and Afghans to fly their planes so that they are able to defend their countries themselves. Thus, the units will be removed from their territories with time,” she said.
“Each mission is a major breakthrough in the career of a soldier, because he is able to test in practice what he has learned. He is undergoing a test of to see if he can stand it,” Becvar said.
Slechtova also stressed the importance of the experience accumulated in missions, noting soldiers are then able to command their subordinates aided by the experience.
Becvar highlighted the positive assessment of Czech soldiers abroad and said they fulfil their objectives in spite of security risks in the specific territories.