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Czechs, Americans holding Sky Avenger 2018 air force training

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Caslav, Central Bohemia, June 27 (CTK) – The Caslav air base is hosting the participants in the international air force war games Sky Avenger 2018, which started on June 18 and ends on June 29, air base spokesman Tomas Maruscak told journalists on Wednesday.

The soldiers train the air duel between the aircraft JAS-39 Gripen and F-16 Fighting Falcon as well as in-flight refuelling, Maruscak said.

A similar exercise was held in Caslav in 2009.

The drilling was joined by the JAS-39 Gripen and L-159 ALCA aircraft from the Caslav air base and the Mil Mi-24/35 and Mi-171S helicopters, while the USA sent seven F-16 Fighting Falcon planes and two KC-135 refuelling aircraft.

The exercise is focused on the planning and implementation of complex operations, manoeuvring air duels and cooperation with air comptrollers.

The Sky Avenger 2018 will also be supported by an AWACS plane.

From the Caslav air base, the exercise is attended by 500 people, while there are 107 people from Texas and Nebraska.

During the war games, the planes have flown 125 flying hours within 72 flights.

“The Texas National Guard is training new pilots of the F16 aircraft at the exercise. The Czech Republic, too, is drilling new pilots,” Maruscak said.

The training also focused on the transition of the Gripens to a new version that is also able to attack ground targets.

The cooperation of the Czech Republic, the Texas National Guard and the Nebraska National Guard is very beneficial, the commander of the whole exercise, Jaroslav Mika, said.

The pilots are using the area in southern and northeastern Bohemia for the air training.

The cooperation between the Czech military and the Texas and Nebraska national guards started in 1993. The original goal was to help the Czech military join NATO, now they cooperate in commanding, cyber security, bomb disposal and protection against weapons of mass destruction. Joint exercises are organised in the Czech Republic and Texas.

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