On October 22nd, Czech ground air defence personnel from the 25th Air Defence Missile Regiment, after unloading vehicles and equipment at the Norwegian port of Fredrikstad, joined forces with the German 9th Armour Brigade to take part in the allied Trident Juncture 2018 exercise.
The participation of the Czech troops from the 252nd Air Defence Missile Battalion in Trident Juncture 2018 required very particular and detailed planning, and proved to be the most logistically challenging shipment of soldiers and materiel ever undertaken by a Czech unit.
Trident Juncture 2018
Two hundred soldier, up to 70 vehicles, and dozens of containers were transported during a week-long combined railway, ship and road journey, leaving Strakonice in the Czech Republic for Norway, the final destination. One leg of the complex journey included shipping the cargo in separate batches to the Dutch port of Eemshaven.
"We unloaded our military equipment after crossing from the Netherlands, and coordinated each operation with the help of the local authorities. The customs clearing procedure of personnel and equipment also included veterinary checks. For the Czech army, it was one of the most unique transit operations in our modern transportation history," said First Lieutenant Daniel Kriz, Chief of the unit’s logistic group.
Trident Juncture 2018 will be largest NATO exercise to be carried out in the past ten years. Approximately 50 thousand soldiers with 10 thousand pieces of equipment will be taking part.
-- The Czech Armed Forces are participating in the exercise as a Ground Air Defence Task Force which, from January 2018, has been part of the allied Rapid Reaction Force. From 2019, it will be part of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force.
-- The core of the task force are the personnel of the 25th Air Defence Missile Regiment and is further reinforced by soldiers from several other units.
-- The major combat unit includes an air defence missile battery equipped with portable RBS-70 missile systems. Other units have a combination of the Support Company and the National Support Element.