Czech Republic will host Nato’s Ramstein Rover 2012 (RARO12) exercise that will involve participation from seventeen allied air forces, the Czech Defence Ministry spokeswoman Jana Zechmeisterova has confirmed.

Zechmeisterova was quoted by CTK as saying that RARO12, which is the only Nato air force exercise to take place this year, will be conducted in September, under the management of Nato command in Ramstein, Germany.

"The main goal of the exercise is to bring in harmony the activities of pilots of the tactical air force and the activities of forward air controllers in support of ground operations," Zechmeisterova elaborated.

Participating nations include Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and the US.

The aircraft taking part in the exercise will include the US Air Force’s (USAF) anti-tank L-39 and F-16 fighter planes, Czech L-39 Albatros trainers, L-159 ALCA fighter aircraft, as well as Russian combat and transport helicopters, which will be operated from the 22nd air base in Sedlec, South Moravia.

The forward air controllers and pilots will conduct cooperative training on the training grounds of Libava, North Moravia, and Boletice, South Bohemia, Zechmeisterova said.

Ramstein Rover 2012 will train participants on improving mutual cooperation, standardisation of procedure and techniques during direct air support operations and on raising military specialists’ qualification.

The exercise also intends to prepare Nato close air support (CAS), forward air controllers (FACs) and joint terminal attack controller (JTACs) for their deployment in support of International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) missions in Afghanistan.

Image: A Czech Air Force’s L-159 ALCA fighter jet during its flight. Photo: courtesy of the Ministerstvo obrany Ceské republiky.