landing of two Polish Su-22 fighter jets at 22nd Helicopter Base Namest and a
United States Army Apache attack helicopter at Libava in the early afternoon on
September 15 another successful edition of the international exercise
Ample Strike came to a close. Since the start on September 5, more than 30
Allied aircraft and helicopters were launched for almost 750 flying hours
during approximately 500 missions in the airspace of the Czech Republic. They supported
well over 1500 control runs executed by some 150 Allied and Partner Joint
Terminal Attack Controllers or JTACs.
The Czech Republic hosted exercise Ample Strike 2016 for the
third consecutive year allowing international JTACs from fifteen Allies and
Partner Nation Finland to operate together and certify their skills that play an important role in
Allied operations. During the ten exercise days, JTAC teams went through six
different training scenarios with alternating tactical situations to further
increase the challenges for the participants.
"This year the added training value consisted in more
complex 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. "However, we closely observed the training
during the exercise so we can adjust scenarios to even better suit the needs of
individual armies as they prepare their JTACs for combat operations."
The training used to be organised by NATO's Allied Air
Command and is also a venue for Allied pilots to gather experience in the
integration of Air and Land capabilities at an international live-fly event. Flying
operations took place not only at five military air base across the Czech
Republic but also involved take-offs and landings of Gripen jets at Kecskemét,
Hungary, Eurofighter jets at Neuburg, Germany and US Air Force strategic
bombers at Fairford, United Kingdom.
While JTAC teams departed on Friday, the last flight
activities of this year's Ample Strike will be the redeployment of Allied
aircraft to their home bases over the weekend. Once the 1300 Czech organisers
and facilitators have dismantled all exercise support facilities, another
successful Ample Strike will have come to an end.
"Already now, we are beginning to prepare for Ample
Strike 2017," said General Josef Becvar. "I have no doubt at all that it
is going to be another very relevant experience for Allied and Partner JTACs."
Story by HQ AIRCOM PAO
based on input provided by Captain Tomas Maruscak, Czech Air Force