Czech Air Chief Visits NATO Air Command Ramstein

A delegation of the Czech Air Force headed by Brigadier General Jiří Verner, the Chief of the Czech Air Force, and Brigadier General Bohuslav Dvořák, Director of Operations at the Czech Ministry of Defence, visited NATO’s Air Command at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on 25 October.

General Verner met with General Roger A. Brady, Commander of Air Command Ramstein to discuss air-related issues.

“The Czech Air Force, under General Verner, continues to be a leader in several important Air endeavors,” said General Brady. “I appreciate him taking the time to come and discuss Air issues relevant to the both his nation and the Alliance.”

Czech Air Chief Visits NATO Air Command Ramstein

The Air Command Ramstein staff briefed General Verner about its central role in providing Air Power to the Alliance. One issue was Air Policing, i.e. overseeing a structure of weapon systems, radar control centres and procedures referred to as the NATO Integrated Air Defence System (NATINADS). General Verner also received a briefing about the Forward Air Controller (FAC) Capability Branch, which promotes standardised procedures for the training and employment of soldiers on the ground who direct combat aircraft in support of land forces. During another presentation an update was given about the HIP helicopter initiative fielded for Afghan National Security Forces. The two latter issues are currently topical in discussions in Afghanistan.

“It’s always fruitful to discuss vital topics like our commitments in Baltic Air Policing and ISAF face-to-face with Allied senior airmen,” said General Verner, the Czech Air Chief. “The success of the Air Policing mission over the Baltic in 2009 had given us a good indication the path we have set on is both correct and viable. It proves that our Czech Air Force are well integrated in the NATO operational effort. I am pleased that in 2012 we shall again offer our air assets for the Baltic Air Policing commitment. In Afghanistan we carry on providing our support to the Alliance’s efforts.

Czech Air Chief Visits NATO Air Command Ramstein

The helicopter unit, fourth in row, is ready to be deployed to Sharana in the east of Afghanistan to provide tactical transport for coalition troops. The mentoring and liaison team of 11 Czech pilots and instructors based in Kabul is training Afghan pilots to fly Mi-35 helicopters. We are augmenting this team by another eight instructors to extend the Mi-17 helicopter flying training by the end of this year,” he summarised the meeting.

Author: Manfred Reudenbach, Deputy Chief Public Affairs Office, NATO Air Command Ramstein