Record Ample Strike 2015

Flying activities during the international Forward Air Controller (FAC) training exercise Ample Strike 2015 officially concluded on 19th September in the Czech Republic.

All the participants received their certificates of participation at the closing ceremony. The national detachments then began their redeployment from the 22nd Helicopter Air Base at Namest nad Oslavou to their home bases. The Forward Arming and Refuelling Points (FARPs) at Libava and the Boletice military training areas which were used for the exercise were then closed.

"This year, Ample Strike has been extremely successful," said the Exercise Director of the Czech Air Force, Colonel Miroslav Svoboda. "In ten days, the international FACs conducted a total of 1650 controls, with a 97% success rate. We executed more than 400 flights, accumulated more than 540 flight hours. This exceeds our previous best result achieved during Ramstein Rover in 2012 when we used 900 flight hours to conduct 1112 controls. We clearly achieved the maximum from the flight effort."

Exercise Ample Strike was attended by more than 1100 troops, nearly 300 of them came from 18 of the NATO and Partnership for Peace countries which provided 25 FAC teams. The participants attributed the exercise's success to the extremely flexible operations.

"Our six operation posts allowed us to effectively respond to changes in the weather," said the Executive Director of the Czech Air Force exericse, Major Pavel Prochazka. "Another essential measure taken was to establish two remote FARPs, thereby reducing the number of flights to the Namest Air Base. Our logistic team provided excellent support at both Libava and Boletice."

By 22nd September, all exercise-related activities had been completed. Assessments and evaluations were made, troops and equipment were redeployed, FARPs were dismantled and personnel from more than 12 Czech armed forces units returned to their garrisons.

One of the questions raised during exercise hot wash, or wrap-up meeting, was whether to execute another Exercise Ample Strike in 2016. All participants agreed another exercise was desired and necessary, and it was decided that they meet and train again in the Czech Republic the following year.

By LTC Magdalena Dvorakova, JMIC AMSE 15, and Manfred Reudenbach, NATO AIRCOM PAO

September 29, 2015