Dozens of Czech military personnel participate in allied Steadfast Jazz 2013 exercise in Poland

Autor: Oldrich Holecek

A week-long allied Steadfast Jazz 2013 exercise put in motion around six thousand soldiers in Poland, from NATO member countries and three PfP countries, in the largest NATO exercise since 2006.

The Czech military contributed with soldiers from 31st Brigade of Radiological, Chemical and Biological Protection, Military Health Institute, pilots of SAAB 39 Gripen supersonic and L-159 ALCA subsonic aircraft with their equipment together with forward air controllers, ground personnel and support units.

Czech chemical troops were based at Konotop in the Polish Training Area Drawsko Pomorskie and they trained within the Multinational Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Battalion, led by France. The Battalion forms part of the NATO Response Force.

The Czech squadron of L-159 ALCA subsonic aircraft represented together with Polish fighters F-16 and Hungarian and Czech SAAB 39 Gripen aircraft the "BLUE" force and they conducted defence air operations against the "RED" force marked for example by Polish SU-22 Suchoy and Mil MiG-29 aircraft. The NATO AWACS aircraft supported combat flying machines by reconnaissance and surveillance data, while French KC-135FR tanker was responsible for example for air refuelling of Czech Gripens which operated from their home base at Caslav, Czech Republic.

Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic Vlastimil Picek together with Chief of the General Staff of ACR Lieutenant General Petr Pavel visited deployed soldiers in Polish areas where the allied Steadfast Jazz 2013 exercise was held.

"We could see here a lot of heavy equipment compared to the Capable Logistician 2013 exerecise held in Slovakia a months ago, where Czech logistic units participated," Minister Picek said, when observing the range of military equipment used by allies in Poland. Lieutenant General Petr Pavel added that "In connection with a gradual downsizing our presence in Afghanistan, training of our military change. We will more focus our training on defence of our own territory unlike training for assymetric operations. The contents of this (Steadfast Jazz 2013) exercise is the right type of training we should follow in the future. And we'll participate more in this sort of allied exercises. But in fact, we do it just now. Currently, more than five hundred of Czech soldiers train together with our allies at the American base at Hohenfels, Germany."

The importance of the Steadfast Jazz 2013 exercise was confirmed by visits of the NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmunssen, President of Poland Bronislav Komorovski, President of Latvia Andris Berzins, and other VIP guests.

Visit also the following links to NATO and Polish websites:

Sources:,, Czech military reporters and photographers

Posted: November 10, 2013