From 30 August to 20 September 2016, the international Forward Air Controller (FAC) exercise Ample Strike 2016(AMSE16) is going to take place in the Czech Republic. 17 Allies and Partners have confirmed participation in this traditional air-land-integration event.
"This year we count on 1,500 trainees including 300 from our Allies and Partners," says Colonel Zdenek Bauer, who is going to be the AMSE16 exercise director and was in charge of the Final Coordination Conference that was conducted at Namest nad Oslavu earlier this week. "FAC training will take place in six operating area across the Czech Republic."
To date, 16 Allies and Partners have provisionally confirmed their participation: Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Flying assets used for the training include Czech L-159 ALCA, L-39 Albatros and JAS-39 Gripen aircraft, Mi-24/35 and 171helicopters; these will possibly be joined by Lithuanian L-39, German PC-9, Learjet and Tornado jets, Polish Su- 22, Hungarian JAS-39 and Slovenian PC-9 planes. The United States Air Force is presently considering participating with AH-64 attack helicopters, strategic B-1 and B-52 bombers as well as KC-135R tanker aircraft.
"After several years, the Polish Air Force will again send its Su-22 aircraft. German Tornado jets will also join AMSE allowing FACs to work with various aerial platforms," adds Colonel Bauer. "The participation of United States choppers and planes will bring even more value and realism to the entire exercise and training."
For the first time Czech reserve personnel will participate in an AMSE exercise. "Our colleagues from the reserve force will ensure the guard services and force protection of 22ndHelicopter Base Sedlec, Vícenice in Namest nad Oslavou, " says Lieutenant Colonel Pavel Král, Deputy Chief of Staff at the base. "We are going to rely on 360 reserve personnel for this purpose."
The AMSE series started back in 2012 as exercise Ramstein Rover, organised by NATO's Air Command at Ramstein, Germany; since 2014, the Czech Republic has taken over the lead changing the name to AMSE.
Like last year's exercise, Armed Forces of the Czech Republic and the exercise director's team from the Air Force Command will be in charge for conducting a challenging and realistic exercise. Comprehensive logistic support will be provided by almost all components of the Czech Armed Forces. The main base for AMSE16 will again be 22ndHelicopter Base Sedlec, Vícenice in Namest nad Oslavou where all coordination will reside. Besides providing valued training for international FAC teams, another goal of the exercise is to demonstrate the Czech Republic's ability to act as host country in support of a large number of Allied and Partner troops.