3rd Guard Company prepares for deployment

Autor: Nuala Casey, Oldrich Holecek

The 3rd Guard Company of the Bagram Air Field (3rd GC BAF) carried out a field training exercise at the Military Training Area in Libava from 7 to 11 July in order to test its operational capability before September's closing certification exercise. The unit will be deployed to the ISAF operation in Afghanistan this October.

The main goal of the exercise was to verify the coordination of staff and units including their reactions to simulated operational and field situations. The soldiers responded to tactical incidents, and exchanged live fire using the Minimi machine gun, the 12.7 mm calibre heavy M2 machine guns, and the AGS-17, 30 mm calibre grenade launchers.

"It is vital that the soldiers maintain their skills in practical live fire, using these types of heavy weapons," said Corporal Roman Vychodil, adding,"of course, the unit did not omit to include live fire from the CZ 805 BREN rifles, executed under lower visibility, and also included the throwing of live hand grenades."

The soldiers from the 72nd Mechanised Battalion, based in Praslavice, who form the core of the 3rd GC BAF, trained under operation Hard Revenge II. They rehearsed duties, such as guarding one of the largest U.S. bases in Afghanistan at the Bagram Air Field, which included patrolling the base, checking and controlling former launching sites for rockets fired at the base, obtaining information from Afghan civilians, reacting to incidents where improvised explosive devices were used, and attacks by insurgents using small arms fires.

The staff of the 3rd GC BAF coordinated the different units’ actions in the field and, depending on the situation, supported them with close air support, or MEDEVAC helicopters.

The personnel of the 1st GC, who had impersonated ‘Afghan civilians’, used their experience from their recent deployment in Bagram to teach soldiers how to negotiate with, gain respect and obtain information from the Afghans.

"The final certification exercise will be held in September, although our preparedness and capability will certainly be proven by the deployment itself," said Lieutenant Premysl Tvrdy.

At the end of the exercise, the soldiers of the 3rd GC BAF paid tribute to their four fallen colleagues from the 2nd GC BAF, and their families, with one minute’s silence. The soldiers lost their lives in a suicide bomber attack, together with a dozen Afghan civilians last week.

July 16, 2014