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Helicopter Initiative Seminar

As part of the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the city of Prague will host, on February 3, 2009, an international politico-military workshop on ”Helicopter Availability – Way Ahead for Mi- Type Helicopters”, held under the auspices of the First Deputy Minister of Defence of the Czech Republic.

Helicopter Initiative Seminar

The workshop aims to discuss associated issues and harmonise opinions and activities in support of the NATO-EU Helicopter Initiative with possible ramifications for the activities of the helicopter units of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic.

The workshop follows upon activities launched recently in the form of the workshop on the Czech Republic’s contribution to development of NATO and EU helicopter capabilities, continuing with the participation of LOM Praha, state enterprise, in an EDA-sponsored tender for development of feasibility studies for joint helicopter aircrew training.

The Czech Republic presently engages in developing the concept for a logistic support unit to provide maintenance and servicing in support of other states operating Mi helicopters. The Czech Republic also undertook to become a lead nation of the HIP Helicopter Task Force (HHTF) working group. The HHTF seeks to identify terms and conditions for establishment of a multinational helicopter unit comprising NATO nations that operate Mi helicopters in areas of operational deployment, including logistic support and funding. The effort is to enable an increased commitment of utility helicopters to international missions, especially operation ISAF. The results of the work by HHTF will be presented at NATO Summit in April 2009.

The invitation to participate in the workshop held under the auspices of the First Deputy Minister of Defence, Martin Barták, has been extended to NATO nations and EU member states officials, representatives of international organisations and the representatives of the Defence and Security Industry Association of the Czech Republic.

Contact person: Jiří Navrátil, phone: +420 973 200 606, jiri.navratil@army.cz