Reducing Military Regions
The need of large Military Regions, which administer the Military Training Areas, has decreased with downsized military force and cuts in budgets for the Czech military.
The area of all five current Military Regions - Boletice, Brdy, Brezina, Hradiste and Libava - covers 129,664 hectars (± 500 square miles), which is 1.7 % of the Czech Republic´s territory. Great parts of the Regions are earmarked for military training as Military Training Areas.
A Region is a specific Czech administrative territorial unit headed by a military officer, who administer the area and where the Military Office for Forests and the Military Forests and Farms manage the territory. More than two thousand people live inside the five Military Regions, which are a prohibited area for civilians without permission of any Military Region Office.
With gradual downsizing of troops and lower resources available, the Military Training Areas are not used economically and represent a financial burden in relation to guarding, keeping and maintenance of buildings, facilities and training installations spread over the areas.
Compared to neighbouring countries Austria, Germany, Poland and Slovakia, the Czech military keep the largest area of the country´s overall territory. While in 1993 one Czech soldier statistically covered 1.1 hectar, in 2011 the number is 5.5 hectars.
Minister of Defence Alexandr Vondra campaigns the upcoming changes and visits regional presidents and mayors of communities that will be affected by reduction of military presence, and discusses pros and cons.
While the Military Region Brdy, south-west of Prague, founded in 1926, will be abandoned, the area of other four Regions will be decreased by some 20 %. Changes, based on findings of the White Paper on Defence introduced this May, are subject to new legislature, and are supposed to come in effect after 2015.
Posted: September 25, 2011