A hundred years of Czech Signal Troops

Autor: Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek

To commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Czech Signal Troops, the Communication and Information Systems Agency and the Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association held a two-day Conference in Prague earlier this week.

Participants at the Conference
Participants at the Conference

The Conference drew attention to the historical origins of the Military Telegraph Service, as well as speakers focussing on the future development of signal troops, communications systems and cooperation between Czech and international organisations.

Colonel Frantisek Ridzak, Director of the Communication and Information Systems Agency of the Czech Ministry of Defence, opened the Conference with a brief history of Czech military signals on its homeland. He then set out the objectives of the meeting which were primarily to facilitate and stimulate the exchange of expert knowledge and experience.

The principal speaker was Lieutenant General Jiri Baloun, First Deputy Chief of the General Staff. He presented an exhibit from the Military History Institute; a one hundred year old field telephone device, produced in Japan and which was operated by a telegraph company for the Czechoslovak Legion in Russia. “In the future, military communication will not just be about the hardware and software specialists supporting military personnel, but the soldiers of the future will need to evolve into cybernetic environment campaigners,” said General Baloun.

He urged the members of the Signal Corps to be the strong foundation for the core aspects of the cybernetic troops of the future because of their long history in the telegraph service and their considerable experience in the transition from radio and data communications to informatics.

The Conference hosted a number of prominent guests from the Czech MoD, international and Czech associations, and armed forces from around the globe.

The anniversary celebrations will continue throughout the year. The main event will be Signal Troops Day which will take place at the Military Technical Museum in Lesany, followed by an exhibition at the General Staff headquarters, and will conclude with a festive meeting at Prague Castle, the seat of the Czech President.

By Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek

March 26, 2017