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JTAC exercise Ample Strike 2016 to start in Czech Republic

Story based on information provided by Captain Tomas Maruscak, Czech Air Force 
The third Czech-led international Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC)* exercise Ample Strike will kick off in the Czech Republic on August 30, 2016.  Until September 20, seventeen Allied and Partnership for Peace nations will come together to train their JTACs, aircrew and commanders of units on the ground in realistic, complex and demanding scenarios.

* Also referred to as Forward Air Controller or FAC

"The Army of the Czech Republic is actively involved in developing capabilities of both our own, Allied and Partner troops. Ample Strike 2016 offers the perfect venue to further effective collaboration of air and ground forces preparing them to respond to joint missions whenever needed,” said the Commander of the Czech Air Force, Brigadier General Jaromir Sebesta. "As a well-established Ally we have continued the tradition of the Ramstein Rover JTAC exercise series organised by NATO’s Allied Air Command at Ramstein, Germany.  With Ample Strike 2016, the Czech Armed Forces are now hosting this major event for the JTAC community for the third time, providing a training organisation and comprehensive logistic support for Allied and Partner troops.”

In 2015, Ample Strike achieved a record approx. 1600 control runs allowing JTACs to keep up their skills of controlling aircraft in support forces on the ground. In 2016, Ample Strike is not about exceeding this number, but about providing even more complex and challenging Air Land Integration scenarios.
"The setup of JTAC training posts with aircrew and ground troop commanders is still the main theme of Ample Strike,” said exercise director Colonel Zdenek Bauer from the Czech Air Force Command. "However, this year, scenarios will plug in air defence assets in a Base Defence Zone supporting the ground units and engaging the jet and helicopter pilots. This will create realistic challenges that are going to improve anti-air defence tactics.”
Adding to exercise complexity, another novelty are air-to-air refuelling missions during tactical aircraft and bomber missions. "US Air Force KC-135R tankers will refuel not only the German Tornado jets, Czech and Hungarian Gripen aircraft, but also US Air Force strategic bombers,” said Colonel Bauer. "These strategic assets together will operate out of Royal Air Force Fairford in the United Kingdom. Just like any other aircraft flying in from abroad they will not carry hot weapons.”
"German Pilatus PC-9 and Learjet aircraft, a Lithuanian L-39 Albatros, Slovenian Pilatus PC-9M aircraft and four Polish Su-22 jets will be operating out of our base," said Colonel Peter Cepelka, commander of the 22nd Helicopter Base in Náměšť. "My staff are going to update information about flight activities in operational areas on a daily basis and post them at the air base website,” added Colonel Čepelka. Other Allied aircraft will fly in from their home bases. At present Ample Strike assets involve 24 Allied and Partner aircraft and ten aircraft and helicopters from the Czech Air Force.
The total number of exercise participants is approx. 1,500 including almost 300 Allied and Partner soldiers, two rotations of 180 each Czech active reserve soldiers and about 1,000 regular Czech soldiers. Twenty-seven JTAC teams totalling 150 soldiers will be the primary training audience this year. Seventeen Allies and Partners have confirmed their participation during Ample Strike - Belgium, the Czech Republic, Canada, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Flying activities will be conducted mainly from 9 am to 11 pm on weekdays from September 5-16. Some flying will occur outside this time frame as international assets arrive and deploy to the operational areas.
For photos of JTACs and some of the assets participating in Ample Strike check here
(as at August 25, 2016)

297 military personnel, 24 aircraft, 24 FAC teams

 Aircraft  Number  Country  Based at
 L-39 Albatros
 1  Lithuania  22nd Helicopter Base, Namest, Czech Republic
 Pilatus PC-9M
 2  Slovenia  22nd Helicopter Base, Namest, Czech Republic
 Pilatus PC-9M  1  Germany  22nd Helicopter Base, Namest, Czech Republic
 Learjet  2  Germany  22nd Helicopter Base, Namest, Czech Republic
 Tornado  2  Germany  Neuburg Air Base, Germany
 Su-22M4  4  Poland  22nd Helicopter Base, Namest, Czech Republic
 JAS39 Gripen
 2  Hungary  Kecskemét Air Base, Hungary
 AH-64  5  USA  Libavá Military training area, Czech Republic
 KC-135  2  USA  Pardubice airport, Czech Republic
 B-1  2  USA  Royal Air Force Fairford, United Kingdom
 B-52  1  USA  Royal Air Force Fairford, UnitedKingdom

1,000 military personnel, 10 aircraft, 3 JTAC teams, 2 x 180 Active Reserve personnel:


 Aircraft  Number  Based at
 Mi-24&35 Hind
 3  Libavá Military training area, Czech Republic
 L-39ZA Albatros
 1  21st Tactical Air Base, Čáslav, Czech Republic
 L-159 Alca
 4  21st Tactical Air Base, Čáslav, Czech Republic
 JAS-39 Gripen
 1  21st Tactical Air Base, Čáslav, Czech Republic
Captain Tomas Maruscak, Chief Public Affairs Officer, Ample Strike 2016,
Phone: +420602 440 465,
Information about Ample Strike exercise will be continuously updated on: 


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