Czech Air Advisory Team to support ISIS-combat mission in Iraq
A team of air instructors from the Czech Republic are in preparation to assist Iraq pilots to operate the L-159 advanced light combat aircraft (ALCA) to fight ISIS.
The Czech Air Advisory Team comprises of 30 soldiers from the 21st Tactical Air Force Base at Caslav, the personnel of the Military Police and the Military Medical Agency.
The training of Czech air instructors has entered its final weeks at the Military Academy in Vyskov.
After their deployment to Iraq next month, the instructors will provide advisory support and mentoring to the Iraqi pilots, ground personnel and aviation experts in all aspects of flying, combat engagement, and the technical maintenance of the L-159 ALCA until the end of 2018.
Czech Republic Minister of Defence Martin Stropnicky said: "By deploying our soldiers to Iraq, we become active participants in the Inherent Resolve operation in the fight against Daesh."
Operation Inherent Resolve is the US military's operational name for the military intervention against the Daesh, including both the campaign in Iraq and the campaign in Syria.
The Iraqi Air Force will operate 12 L-159 subsonic fighter jets manufactured by the Czech company, Aero Vodochody.
In March last year, the Czech Republic Government authorised Aero Vodochody to sell 15 surplus L-159 ALCA to Iraq.
The L159 ALCA is a derivative of the Aero L-39 Albatros, designed to perform close air support, tactical reconnaissance, air defence, counter insurgency, border patrol and lead-in fighter and weapons training missions.
Image: A L159 advanced light combat aircraft in flight. Photo: © Ministerstvo obrany.