Czech pilots fly the Baltic Eye exercise in Lithuania

Autor: Jan Kouba

Prior to the large NATO Response Force exercise Steadfast Jazz in Poland, Czech pilots train together with their Lithuanian colleagues the procedures of tactical air force combat in accordance with the exercise Baltic Eye scenario.

The goal of the exercise is an advanced training of both Czech and Lithuanian pilots with Lithuanian ground personnel from the Karmelava Control and Reporting Centre close to the Siauliai Air Base.

Pilots of four subsonic L-159 aircraft fulfil tasks of the CRC in approaching, identifying and downing the "enemy" aircraft. For training purposes, roles of pilots change to play either the attacking aircraft or the target in a week-long exercise.

"The Baltic Eye is a preparatory phase of 212nd Squadron to international NATO exercise Steadfast Jazz 2013. After a week of fulfilling flying tasks, the contingent of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic will move from Lithuania to Poland, specifically to Poznan airport and will start flying the allied scenario. Six subsonic L-159A ALCA and four supersonic combat aircraft SAAB 39C Gripen from the Czech Air Force will participate in the exercise. Combat L-159 aircraft will operate from the Polish Air Base in Poznan, while Gripens will operate from their home base at Caslav, Czech Republic, with use of French KC-135FR tanker for air refuelling," Lieutenant Colonel Jakub Stefanek, Deputy Chief of Combat Training from Czech Air Force Command, says, and positively evalulates the level of achieved skills of Czech tactical air force.

"In our double-seat machines fly also our Lithuanian colleagues," Capitan Denis Dubravcik, Commander of the 2nd Flight/212nd Tactical Squadron, explains, adding that two out of eight so far upgraded L-159A take part in the Baltic Eye.

Posted: November 3, 2013