U.S. Air Forces in Europe & Air Forces Africa
Published July 08, 2020
Air Force Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa commander, conducted a call with Maj. Gen. Petr Hromek, commander of the Czech air force, to discuss air operations in the Czech Republic throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the call, the leaders discussed NATO’s Joint Terminal Attack Controller exercise Ample Strike, which is held annually in the Czech Republic, the NATO Days Air Show and future Agile Combat Employment opportunities.
“I highly value the cooperation with General Harrigian and the cooperation between the Czech Air Force and U.S. Air Forces in Europe,” said Hromek. “I am looking forward to working together in exercise Ample Strike with USAFE as our strongest partner. The Czech Air Force is also on the verge of implementing the UH-1 system, and I informed General Harrigian that the situation with COVID-19 has not affected our acquisition process. I also discussed the future development of the Czech Air Force in general. I deeply appreciate the assistance by General Harrigian’s office. The process of assistance is important for empowering the relationship between the Czech Air Force and USAFE.”
The Czech Republic Defense Minister met with the U.S. Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon in December to finalize the sale of eight UH-1Y Venom utility helicopters and four AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters, a step towards replacing Russian helicopters with NATO interoperable equipment.
Harrigian echoed the close partnership the U.S. shares with the Czech Republic.
“It was great to talk with Petr, and we look forward to being able to support our partner,” said Harrigian. “Specifically in the next couple months, we are looking forward to participating in exercise Ample Strike. It’s a great training opportunity and example of the important relationship and capabilities established by the State Partnership Program.”
The U.S. National Guard’s State Partnership Program links U.S. states with partner countries around the world to support mutually beneficial objectives, improve interoperability, and develop enduring personal and institutional relationships. State partnership engagements involve the sharing of best practices and lessons learned on complimentary skillsets. The Czech Republic has been partnered with Texas and Nebraska since 1993.