Czech Army

Real Combat Conditions

Training of Czechoslovak Army Resembled Real Combat Conditions

The transformation of Czechoslovakia to democracy with market economy after 1989 brought about also the complex process of army transformation. One of the crucial political-strategic steps was the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and consequent departure of Soviet troops from the country. However, resolution of some conceptual issues of military construction was temporarily held up by problems related to state division. At the same time the army had to face fallacious opinions on fast conversion of armament industry and rapid reduction in budgets in the period of increased costs on re-displacement and its organizational structure and on liquidation of redundant military technologies according to so called Viennese Protocols.

The process of army democratization started at the same time and the period of national service was gradually reduced, civil service was introduced and in the end professional army was established. New military strategy of the Czech Republic played an important role. Reorganization of the Ministry of Defence as well the General Headquarters was carried out according to a new conception of army organization, special tactics units were formed and the number of staff and arms systems was reduced as well as the number of training premises, number of units and displacement locations and a great number of military premises were given up for public use. New technologies were introduced (JAS-39 Gripen and L-159 and other arms systems).

Upon entering NATO, one of the main strategic aims of foreign policy of the Czech Republic was met and the country became, for the first time in its history, a part of functional system of collective protection. The soldiers of Czech Army were incorporated into the forces of the alliance at all levels – at military levels in Brussels, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Mons, Belgium and in other strategic and operational bodies in Europe and the USA. The Czech Army started to take part in international peace-keeping operations in areas of political instability as well as in humanitarian missions.