Czech Armed Forces host fall JTAC exercise Ample Strike
Allied helicopters are one means of providing simulated Close Air Support during the Czech-led JTAC exercise Ample Strike. Archive photo courtesy Czech Air Force
Sep 3, 2018
NAMEST, Czech Republic – From September 3 to September 14, the international live-fly and live-firing exercise Ample Strike 2018 will take place in five different training areas across the Czech Republic.
Approximately 1,000 service members from the Czech Armed Forces will host 200 international participants from 18 Allies and Partner nations (Belgium, Denmark, Croatia, Canada, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and the United States as well as Finland and Sweden).
The participants will be engaged in realistic training for Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) teams going through complex drills in Air-Land-Integration scenarios. Besides the opportunity to maintain critical JTAC skill sets and capabilities, one major aspect during Ample Strike 2018 will again be the support from aerial platforms that will fly in for the exercise. More than 30 aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles from nine Allies will simulate Close Air Support assets that JTACs are to call in to assist Army commanders on the ground.
"The Ample Strike exercise series earned considerable credit in the past,” said Czech Air Force Colonel Zdenek Gabriel, the exercise director. "Our aim is to offer complex live-fire simulations and demanding scenarios based on extant NATO standards,” he added.
For the fifth consecutive year the Czech Armed Forces host this international JTAC exercise Ample Strike. The main base for Ample Strike 18 will again be the 22nd Helicopter Base at Namest, where the Czech Armed Forces and Colonel Gabriel’s team will be busy ensuring all participants are provided with challenging theatre-realistic drills.
NATO Allied Air Command at Ramstein, Germany, is the NATO entity that standardises tactics, techniques and procedures for Close Air Support and grants NATO accreditation of Allied JTAC programmes including Air to Ground Operations schoolhouses, JTAC qualification courses and simulators. Between 2010 and 2013 the command conducted the annual exercise Ramstein Rover, offering a venue for international JTAC teams to keep their critical capability current. Since 2014, the Czech Republic has continued this tradition with the Ample Strike exercises, earning great merits for upholding this live-fly and live-fire exercise for NATO and Partner JTACs demonstrating Allied cooperation, efficiency and capabilities.
Story by Ample Strike Joint Media Information Centre