Large U.S. military convoy to cross Czech territory later this month

The Czech Army will provide logistical support as the U.S. transports troops to NATO exercise in Hungary

Marcus Bradshaw

Written by Marcus Bradshaw
Published on 13.05.2021 08:03 (updated on 13.05.2021)

A troop movement of 600 U.S. soldiers with 190 pieces of military equipment will cross the Czech territory between May 22-26, according to a press release issued by Czech General Staff this week. The troops will travel from Germany to Hungary to take part in a NATO Defender Europe 2021 exercise.

The US troops will be divided into three convoys, each containing three to four groups, and each group will consist of up to 20 pieces of wheeled equipment. Hourly intervals will be maintained between the groups, to ensure road safety and minimal disruption to the flow of normal road traffic.

The convoy movements are planned in the late evening to early morning hours (from 7pm to 6am) and their passage will be coordinated in cooperation with the Police of the Czech Republic, the Military Police and the Directorate of Roads and Highways. 

The convoys will enter the Czech territory via the Rozvadov border crossing and will take the D5 highway to the Ostrov u Stříba rest area before continuing towards the Prague ring road and the D1 highway. Soldiers will spend the night in Rančirov garrison, near Jihlava, and continue their way the next day, taking the D1 highway to Brno, followed by the D2 to the Břeclav border crossing.

“Each convoy will spend a maximum of 48 hours in the Czech Republic,” said Colonel Magdalena Dvořáková of the Czech General Staff.

The Czech General Staff stated that the U.S. troops will comply with all the applicable regulations and restrictions issued in connection with the epidemiological situation in the Czech Republic. The soldiers will be tested before entering the Czech Republic, although most soldiers have already been vaccinated against Covid-19. The convoys will travel with their own paramedics, and at the border and in Rančířov Czech medical personnel will be available to them.

Transits of U.S. troops through the Czech Republic to the NATO Defender Europe exercise have been held regularly since 2015, with the exception of last year, when the exercise was canceled due to the coronavirus crisis. 

“The exercise is intended to demonstrate the readiness, coherence and commitment of Alliance member states to ensure the security of the Euro-Atlantic Area” said Colonel Dvořáková. “Exercise Saber Guardian 2021 aims to test the readiness and cooperation between Alliance and partner armies and the United State military. The exercise will be attended by almost 13,500 soldiers from 16 different countries."

The Army of the Czech Republic participates by providing logistical support, setting up a tent camp for the passing units, providing refueling equipment, as well as other logistics and medical services.

The same route is planned for the return of the troops back to Germany, which is scheduled for June 12-16.

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