Namest nad Oslavou, South Moravia, Aug 25 (CTK) – About 1,500 troops from 17 NATO and partner states will take part in the Ample Strike 2016 exercise in the Czech Republic that is to secure cooperation between military pilots and forward air control in supporting ground operations, Jaromir Sebesta said on Thursday.

Sebesta, the Czech Air Force supreme commander, said the exercise will start on August 30 and run through September 20. Its air part will be held on September 5-16.

Ground operations will be supported by about 30 aircraft and helicopters, Sebesta said.

The planes will take off from the airports in Namest nad Oslavou, Caslav, central Bohemia, and Pardubice, east Bohemia, and from three foreign airports situated in in Germany, Hungary and Britain, respectively.

Helicopters will take off from the military grounds in Libava, north Moravia, and Boletice, south Bohemia.

A joint tactical training will take place in military complexes in Boletice, Namest nad Oslavou, Libava and Bechyne, south Bohemia.

The flights are scheduled between 09:00 and 23:00. No night flights are planned.

During the exercise, the soldiers are to perform 480 scenarios, Zdenek Bauer, from the Air Force headquarters, said.

He said the record over 1,600 scenarios of navigating a plane towards a target were performed during the exercise last year.

Quantity, however, is not the priority this year, when the exercise will focus on more demanding tasks, Bauer said.

A total of 1,180 Czech and 297 foreign soldiers are to take part in the exercise and ten Czech and 24 foreign planes and helicopters will operate, including Hungarian Jas-39 Gripen fighters and the U.S. Apache combat helicopters.

The Ample Strike exercise follows up the tradition of successful and appreciated international exercises Flying Rhino, Ramstein Rover and Ample Strike that took place in the Czech Republic between 2003 and 2015.