Ample Strike kick-off!

The international exercise, ‘Ample Strike 2016', being hosted in the Czech Republic from 30th August - 20th September 2016, encompasses a broad spectrum of scenarios aimed at enhancing the coordination capabilities of aircraft crews and ground forces.

Not all of the disciplines were known or prepared in advance, as was demonstrated in the case of the low altitude flight of the USAF B-1B bomber over Namest Air Base. This task, "force demonstration", was called at short notice and carried out by Czech forward air controllers whose task was to guide the bombers in carrying out simulated manoeuvres over enemy forces.

Ample Strike 2016

The bomber took off from Fairford airport, in the U.K, and arrived at the scheduled time. The roar of this ninety-ton giant with an almost 30-meter wingspan had a definite impact on ground personnel.

"This low altitude flying was not part of the original planning, but we train the controllers to respond to changes under duress, and in as close to real-life as possible. It is a very important part of the psychological endurance training of the air traffic controllers," said Colonel Zdenek Bauer, Director of the exercise.

While aircraft crews and ground air controllers carry out the close air support tasks the personnel of the 25th Air Defence Missile Regiment utilise these flights to improve their skills in operating the SURN CZ fire-control radars and the 2K12 KUB air-defence missile system against potential enemy targets.

The aim of 'Ample Strike 2016' exercise is to improve international defence cooperation and standard training procedures and, this year, is capable of including up 23 fighter planes, bombers and helicopters, as well as approximately 1,400 ground personnel and equipment from up to 16 countries.

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By Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek

September 14, 2016