Czech army contributes to training the Malian Armed Forces

Autor: Nuala Casey, Oldrich Holecek

As part of the European Union Training Mission in Mali (EUTM Mali), a joint French-German-Luxemburg-Czech team of military instructors provide expertise and help to the personnel of the Malian Armed Forces in order to increase their skills and military know-how.

Czech instructors are assigned to the 1st Training Company which is made up of French, German and Luxembourg soldiers. In instructing the Malian soldiers in tactical, live fire and medical training, the multinational personnel mainly use the Koulikoro Base situated about 70 kilometres northeast of the capital, Bamako. For the trainees of the Malian Officers‘ School, a key part of the exercise is participating in the Komando Course, one of the toughest training courses in the Czech army.

Although Koulikoro Base is the main training facility, Czech soldiers from the Military Academy in Vyskov recently moved to the Sikasso Base in order to participate in the retraining of the 1st Company of the Malian 814th Regiment which had recently returned from its operational deployment in northern Mali. As part of the 6th Groupement Tactique Interarmée, Czechs, together with French and German instructors, contribute to the retraining of the units for effective combat operations.

“The retraining focuses on areas such as, tactics, live fire, topography, medical, engineering, and physical training, as well as on issues of humanitarian rights. Moreover, commanders from all levels are being instructed on the planning and development process, and on the issuing of combat orders,“ said Warrant Officer 3rd Class Martin Vacek.

“Our work with the Malian soldiers is very interesting but, from a European‘s point of view, not easy. I believe that this is because of the different mentality and culture of the Malians, and also because of the different approach to their duties,“ said Warrant Officer 1st Class Petr Smerda.

The main task of the Czech 4th Unit during the EU Training Mission in Mali is to protect the mission’s Headquarters in Bamako.

November 11, 2014