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German-Czech Republic soldiers

Forward air controllers (FACs) from 20 Nato member countries will participate in an international air exercise, code-named Ramstein Rover 2013 (RARO13), at the 22nd Air Base at Namest nad Oslavou in the Czech Republic.

Scheduled to be carried out between 2-20 September 2013, the exercise will involve around 30 fighter and support aircraft, and 500 FACs from 20 participating countries, as well as support personnel from the host nation.

Jointly organised by Nato’s Single Allied Air Command (AIRCOM) at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and the Czech Air Force, the exercise will feature challenging scenarios to enhance participants’ skills in the cooperation of air and land forces.

Having hosted the exercise’s previous edition, the Czech Republic is expected to retain the same exercise director and several of his 20 team members from AIRCOM, ensuring a well-proven command and control setup for even more intensive and efficient training.

HQ AIRCOM RARO13 exercise director German Air Force colonel MSc Harry Schnell said the command will leverage experience learnt from the previous exercise to ensure an improved standard for preparation and conduct of the three-week training drill.

”Conducting RARO in the Czech Republic for the second time shows that the younger NATO nations are successfully up to the major challenge of staging such a demanding exercise,” Schnell said.

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By GlobalData
"The exercise will involve around 30 fighter and support aircraft, and 500 FACs from 20 participating countries."

Czech Air Force commander colonel Libor Stefanik said RARO13 offers the Czech Air Force an opportunity to continue further development of its critical capabilities.

”In addition, we can examine in this multinational exercise our national ability to host and support such a complex training activity,” Stefanik said.

RARO13 is designed to provide realistic pre-deployment training to FACs, which are soon to be deployed on Nato’s International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) operation in Afghanistan.

Beginning with a classroom academic training, the exercise will then move to live-fly practical close air support (CAS) phase using Nato jet aircraft and helicopters to realistically train air and ground crews in effective employment of airpower in support of own forces, with less damage to civilians and their property.

Image: German and Czech forward air controllers during Ramstein Rover 2012 at Namest Air Base in Czech Republic. Photo: courtesy of USAF Senior Airman Natasha Stannard.

Defence Technology