Exercise Ample Strike 2014 Gets Underway
At about 10.15 a.m. on Wednesday, 3 September 2014, two Slovak Mi-17 helicopters were the first foreign aircraft to arrive at 22nd Helicopter Base for the international exercise Ample Strike 2014 (AMSE 14). An hour later, a Lithuanian L-39 and four Slovak L-39 fighter aircraft touched at the base and taxied to their parking positions.
According to AMSE14 planning, more international exercise participants are gradually moving in with their aircraft and ground equipment to the air base near Namest nad Oslavu in the south of the Czech Republic. Participants from Latvia, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and of course Slovakia and Lithuania started their in-processing for AMSE14 on Wednesday. Forward Air Controller (FACs) teams and the ground forces are in the focus of the exercise as they are supported by aircraft from several NATO Nations. The FACs will attend a mandatory session of classroom instructions on Friday and Saturday which prepares them for the exercise scenarios and their assignments that will start on Monday.
"All international participants must go through the Namest air base in-processing," says Lieutenant Lucie Zelinková member of the AMSE 14 logistic support team. "We register participants and provide basic instructions about security, movement on the air base and inside training areas as well as logistic support for the national contingents. Once the participants have received their identification badge they are good to go and AMSE14 can start for them."
During the first day on Wednesday, Lieutenant Zelinková and her colleagues have in-processed roughly one hundred of the 300 international AMSE14 participants. She anticipates similar numbers to arrive over the next two days.
While everything else goes according to the plan, unfortunately, the United States Army AH-64 Apache combat helicopters were delayed and could not leave their home base in Germany as scheduled due to weather. It is now planned for them to touch down at Namest air base in the afternoon of 4 September.
"Weather is the only factor influencing exercise that you cannot plan," says Exercise Director, Colonel Miroslav Svoboda. "However, we are able to respond flexibly to weather challenges because throughout the exercise we have three very sophisticated simulators that will be used to train FACs and pilots to practice standardized procedures before they deploy to the training site. If necessary, flight simulators will replace out-door activities," he added.
The AMSE14 preparatory phase lasts from 3 to 7 September. The aim is to harmonize procedures and planning for all units from both Czech and international ground and air units. To this effect the Czech Armed Forces are assisted by members of NATO’s Air Command at Ramstein and several participating nations.
From Monday, 8 September, through Friday, 12 September, the exercise will go life with the scheduled scenarios for the FACs. During these days flying is scheduled from 9 am to 11 pm. For more information on flying training activities please check the Namest air base website at www.lznamest.army.cz and under the exercise Ample Strike banner on www.army.cz.
Story by Major Magdalena Dvorakova, AMSE 14 Press and Information Officer
September 4, 2014