Kabul, Jan 30 (CTK) – New Czech Defence Ministry Karla Slechtova visited the Czech troops deployed within a foreign mission at Kabul airport and the U.S. military base Bagram Airfield on January 29-30 and this has been her first trip to Afghanistan since her appointment in December.
Slechtova also met her Afghan counterpart and the allied commanders from the military bases.
“I heard from them what they are specifically doing, what is their gear,” she told Czech journalists in Bagram about the Czech troops.
The soldiers presented the MRAP armoured fighting vehicles and their weaponry to the minister.
Slechtova said she talked with the U.S. commanders about the future use of the capabilities of the Czech troops, or about the deployment of the chemists and other experts.
She said Czech soldiers showed interest in the participation in foreign missions. “They learn a lot here, they bring their new abilities back home,” she added.
At her appointment, Slechtova promised to support the foreign missions. However, it seems that only the next government will be deciding on the extension of the missions because the current one lost the confidence vote taken in it in parliament.
Chief-of-Staff Josef Becvar recently said the Czechs might send more military instructors and officers for the staff to Afghanistan.
The Czech military has been active in Afghanistan since mid-2010. There are 236 Czech soldiers there now, including a patrolling unit, air instructors and commanders.
In Bagram, the troops have faced two bomb attacks since October, but nobody suffered any injury, Roman Rostas, commander of the 9th patrolling company, told journalists. He said the security situation was more calm in the winter season.