Deputies approve future foreign deployments for Czech military

Autor: Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek

Members of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Parliament have approved a resolution supporting Czech Armed Forces foreign deployments for 2017 and 2018, with the outlook up to 2019.

The resolution, passed by 113 deputies with 29 deputies against, was prepared and approved by the government in April this year.

The mandate to deploy soldiers over the next few years primarily allows for participation in operations which the Czech Republic has been engaging in for some time.

"The plan provides for the continuance in all current foreign operations. The Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, and EU and UN missions in Mali remain a priority. Additionally, we wish to make a considerable contribution to the NATO Response Force which is the key mechanism of the Alliance collective defence," said Minister of Defence Martin Stropnicky after the vote was cast on 26th June.

Czech contributions:

Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan
The Czech Republic will focus on the protection of allied units and the training of Afghan Security Forces. The number of soldiers will be lower than in 2016, but will remain significant compared to other contributing countries.

EUTM and MINUSMA in Mali
Besides the EU Training Mission, the Czech contribution in resolving a conflict in Mali was enhanced this year by Special Forces in the UN MINUSMA mission. After a 17-year break, the Czech Republic is again contributing with military units being deployed as part of any UN missions. We will continue to contribute in the coming years to both missions according to their requirements and our capacities.

Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai
Czech presence will continue in the MFO operation where our soldiers have become a valuable and reliable partner, particularly since the deployment of an air unit with the CASA C-295M aircraft in November 2013.

ALTHEA and Joint Enterprise in the Balkans
Czech soldiers will continue serving in the EU ALTHEA operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in the NATO Joint Enterprise in Kosovo. In both operations, Czechs will occupy posts of command structures.

Czech participation will continue rotation at command structures.

Support to Iraq
The Czech Republic will actively support Iraqi forces in their fight against Daesh. A new Air Advisory Team is being prepared for deployment to assist in the training of Iraqi airmen in operating the L-139 combat aircraft.

"I greatly appreciate our deputies’ past and continued support of the allied readiness forces and for all foreign operations. Our coalition partners have shown great respect for the active participation and professional performance of Czech soldiers serving abroad, and I would also like to stress that the demanding nature of tasks cannot always be measured by the size of a deployed contingent," said General Josef Becvar, Chief of the General Staff, after the meeting of the House of Deputies.

Update: The Senate of the Czech Parliament approved a resolution supporting Czech Armed Forces foreign deployments for 2017 and 2018, with the outlook up to 2019 at its session on 14 July.

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By Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek

July 14, 2016