Namest nad Oslavou, South Moravia, Aug 30 (CTK) – The Ample Strike 2016 exercise, aimed to harmonise the training of forward air controllers, aircraft crews and ground forces’ commanders, starts in the Czech Republic yesterday with 1500 soldiers from 17 NATO member and partner countries attending.
For the first time in history, the exercise is also attended by active reserves.
The exercise’s staff will be at the helicopter base in Namest nad Oslavou. The flying part will be staged from September 5 to 16. The operations will be supported from the air by 30 aircraft and helicopters.
The aircraft will be taking off from the airports in Namest nad Oslavou, Caslav, central Bohemia, and Pardubice, east Bohemia, in the Czech Republic and from one airport in each Britain, Germany and Hungary.
The helicopters will be taking off from the military air training grounds in Libava, north Moravia, and Boletice, south Bohemia.
The joint tactical training will take place in the military facilities in Boletice, Bechyne, south Bohemia, Namest nad Oslavou and Libava.
Ample Strike 2016 follows up the tradition of the international exercises Flying Rhino, Ramstein Rover and Ample Strike, which were organised in Namest nad Oslavou in 2003-15.
The Czech initiative No to Bases, which was opposed to the planned construction of a U.S. radar base at the Brdy military grounds, central Bohemia, in 2009, says Ample Strike 2016 is illegal because it was not discussed by the Chamber of Deputies.
The military dismisses the claim that the exercise is not legal.
“There is no doubt of the legal character of the Ample Strike 2016 exercise. The government’s decision is decisive,” Jolana Fedorkova, from the general staff’s press department, said last week.