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US, Polish aircraft to go to Ample Strike exercise in ČR

14 July 2016

Prague, July 13 (CTK) - The U.S. B-1 and B-52 strategic bombers as well as the Polish Su-2 bomber aircraft and German Tornadoes will take part in the Ample Strike international air force exercise in the Czech Republic in September, Tomas Maruscak, from the press department of the exercise, told CTK on Wednesday.

Some 1,500 people from 16 allied and partnership countries will take part in the exercise that will be joined by tens of pieces of air equipment, Maruscak said.

The Ample Strike, one of the most important military exercises in the Czech Republic, will take place between August 30 and September 20.

Its aim is to harmonise forward air controllers with the aircraft crews and ground forces commanders.

"This year, we work with the total number of up to 1,500 training troops, 300 of whom are from foreign militaries," exercise commander Zdenek Bauer said.

The training will be held in the Boletice and Libava military areas in south Bohemia and north Moravia, at the 22nd helicopter base in Sedlec, in Vicenice near Namest nad Oslavou, south Moravia, the 21st tactical air force base in Caslav, central Bohemia, the Pardubice Airport Administration, east Bohemia, and the 15th engineering regiment in Bechyne, south Bohemia.

Members of active reserves will for the first time in history participate in the war games, Maruscak said.

"Active reserve soldiers will be deployed for the protection of the Namest airport as a vital area of the state," deputy base commander Pavel Kral said.

During the two-week exercise, 360 reservists will take part in the protection of the area.

Participation has been preliminarily confirmed by 15 European countries and the USA.

After a pause of several years, the exercise will take place with the participation of the Polish air force with its Su-22 aircraft and newly the German Tornado aircraft will provide support for the ground forces.

"The participation of U.S. armed forces is crucial. This adds a considerable value to the whole exercise," Bauer said.

The U.S. B-1 and B-52 bombers, AH-64 Apache helicopters and two KC-135R mid-air refueling aircraft will also participate in the exercise.

Air support will also be ensured by the Gripen, L-39, L-159 and PC-9 aircraft as well as Mi-24/35 and Mi-171 helicopters.

The main flight exercise will take place between 9.00 and 23.00 CEST on the working days, Maruscak said.

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