The Resilient Sky tests the Czech National Reinforcement Air Defence System aimed at protecting the Czech Republic’s airspace in crises or emergencies. In the past, the system was activated in the wake of 9/11, during the Prague NATO Summit in 2002 and when the New START treaty was signed in Prague. It involves national aircraft, air bases and air defence command posts, radars as well as air defence and passive surveillance systems.
“The primary objective is to enhance skills and abilities of all units and staffs assigned for the National Reinforcement Air Defence System across a broad range of missions,” said Czech Air Force Commander Major General Petr Čepelka. “Our focus will be on tactical flying, counter-air operations by the ground-based air defence, airlift, close air support, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and the vertical integration of operational/tactical echelons, and last, but not least, planning and execution of Composite Air Operations.
In this year’s edition of Resilient Sky, units will simulate the defence of Čáslav Air Base and the Temelín Nuclear Power Plant. One of the key tasks in these drills will be conducting aerial manoeuvres of a helicopter squadron and setting up a Forward Arming and Refuelling Point (FARP) with adequate force protection.
According to Major General Čepelka, the exercise will verify the capability to control all units under national command and deconflict NATO operations that may affect the Czech Republic’s airspace. During the first week of Resilient Sky, the training focus is on the L-159 aircrews and the staffs at the CRC and the ANCC; the second week will verify the functioning of the whole Czech Air Force command and control system. “The Czech Air Force Command assigns the mission to the reinforced 261st Control and Reporting Centre (CRC), which plays a critical part in the whole exercise ensuring command and control. During contingencies, the centre is activated as the Air National Component Centre (ANCC),” added Major General Čepelka.
“Protection of our homeland territory is the priority we exercise for – and we seek to be the best in what we do as we learn from our mistakes,” said Major General Čepelka. “While we continue to contribute to NATO operations along the eastern flank, we are proving that our abilities to plan, support and coordinate all types of NATO scenarios,” he concluded.
Upon conclusion of Resilient Sky 2023, the Czech Air Force will host a smaller version of the traditional Close Air Support exercise Ample Strike (AMSE23) offering challenging live training for Joint Terminal Attack Controllers.