Polish and Czech paratroopers fight alike!

Autor: Nuala Casey, Oldrich Holecek

A two-week joint exercise of Polish and Czech paratroopers at the Polish military base, Nowa Deba, showed that troops on both sides employ very similar tactics or, in some cases, identical procedures for training and combat.

"The training exercise was viewed as an opportunity for sharing experiences and identifying differences in standards and tactical procedures," explained 1st Lieutenant Karel Karel, the leader of a Czech airborne platoon.

Czech soldiers were equipped with Polish small arms and, by conducting joint live fire exercises, they were able to compare their skills to those of their Polish comrades. "The soldiers used Polish Beryl rifles and the squad leaders its shorter version, the miniBeryl, both 5.56 mm calibre. We also handled the UKM Polish machine guns, and the specialist airborne squads handled the Polish Alex sniper rifles, the bull-pup versions, calibre 7.62 mm. We were delighted that we were able to keep pace with Polish paratroopers from the 18th Airborne Battalion, even though we were handling the arms for the first time," added 1stLT Karel.

"The results of your firing exercises were really excellent, even with the absence of the collimators you normally use during your training at home. Of course, the important advantage was in having the same calibre of arms, which greatly helps with manipulation and logistic support," added the Captain of the Polish Company, Marcin Wilga.

Besides the live fire exercises, the joint training programme included tactical and chemical warfare exercise, Combat Life Saver (CLS) procedures, and a demonstration by the Polish Explosive Ordnance Disposal team.

After reviewing the tactical and operational procedures of the Czech and Polish paratroopers, both commanders agreed that their methods are, in some cases, identical and, in others, very similar. "It is an important result for future combat cooperation, as well as the fact that defence units from different nations ably complement each other," said Captain Wilga.

This training exercise of paratroopers from both armies was yet another example of the continuing cooperation among the Visegrad Group countries (The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) in preparation for the engagement of service personnel earmarked for both NATO and the EU.

April 1, 2014