Minister Stropnicky visits Czech soldiers in Lithuania

Autor: Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek

On 1st March, Minister of Defence Martin Stropnicky and Chief of the General Staff General Josef Becvar visited Lithuania to observe Czech troops taking part in the exercise 'Training Bridge 2017' at the Armed Forces Urban Warfare Facility at the Training Area in Pabradė, Lithuania.

Meeting of Minister Stropnicky and Minister Raimundas Karoblis
Meeting of Minister Stropnicky and Minister Raimundas Karoblis

Minister Stropnicky and General Becvar, along with guests, observed a joint Czech-Lithuanian training scenario with units liberating a village which had been seized by the enemy.

The exercise was carried out by Czech Iveco light armoured vehicles, followed by Czech and Lithuanian infantry troops. The ‘combat group’, using urban fighting tactics, finally freed the village and the scene was cleared when the wounded soldiers were evacuated and taken to the field hospital.

"I am delighted that the idea for this joint exercise, which was conceived during our V4 Presidency, has come to fruition," said Minister Stropnicky. "These training activities are extremely intensive, and I believe it is something different for our troops. They have served in missions such as Afghanistan and Mali, yet this training exercise brings about significant changes in terrain, atmospheric conditions and weather, as well as the transportation of cumbersome equipment. Nevertheless, your Armed Forces have provided excellent conditions for us." added Minister Stropnicky.

General Becvar, supporting Minister Stropnicky’s view, added, "I am more than satisfied with our unit’s cooperation with the Lithuanians troops. I would like to add that this is not just a declaration of our commitment to the allies, but here, during this high-intensive training, we have also learned valuable lessons both from the long-distance combined transportation of machinery to Lithuania and from the local combat activities. Since this unit is to serve in a foreign operation next year, I believe that the experiences and expertise gained here will definitely pay off."

Following the visit, Minister Stropnicky met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Raimundas Karoblis, to discuss further defence cooperation.

By Nuala Casey and Oldrich Holecek

March 3, 2017