Brunssum, The Netherlands
– Multinational Battle Group Slovakia was tested during the certification exercise Strong Cohesion 2023, at the Lešt' Training Centre in Slovakia from 26-28 September 2023.
We are able to perform the operational task assigned to us
Units from the Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia and Slovenia, which make up the Multinational Battle Group, took part in the exercise, which was conducted under the command of the Slovak 2nd Mechanised Brigade.
Brigadier General Václav Vlček (left) and Brigadier General Róbert Kecsö (right) during the opening ceremony of the exercise. picture by OR-7 Schiller, MN BG PAO
The certification exercise represented the culmination of rigorous preparation that focused on joint training from squad, platoon, company and battalion levels, aimed at aligning and synchronising not only tactical capabilities, but also areas such as communications, logistical support and reconnaissance. During the exercise, international evaluators focused on these elements, whilst also assessing unit cohesion, planning, leadership and execution of operations.
"The certification took place under the command and control of the Slovak 2nd Mechanised Brigade from Prešov,” said Colonel Miroslav Vybíhal, of the Czech Armed Forces, Battle Group Commander. “The team of Brigadier General Róbert Kecsö managed to create challenging conditions for the certified battalion, in which all aspects of combat operations were tested."
Picture by MN BG PAO
Czech and Slovenian infantry fighting vehicles, backed by German Leopard 2A6 tanks, bore the brunt of the ‘fight’ supported by a Czech mortar battery reinforced by a Slovak mortar platoon. The exercise scenario was to defend against and exhaust the enemy, in an effort to create the conditions for a counterattack to regain occupied territory.
"The objectives of the exercise have been met and the unit will be able to perform the tasks set before it," assessed Brigadier General Václav Vlček during the final phase of Exercise Strong Cohesion 2023. With the successful completion of the exercise, the Multi-National Battle Group reached full operational capability and was awarded NATO Combat Ready status.
picture by OR-9 Leo Roos, JFCBS PAO
The certification involved more than 300 pieces of military equipment, including Czech BVP-2s, Slovenian VALUKs, German Leopard 2A6 tanks, TATRA 815-7 PRAM, Black Hawk helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles.
Achieving combat ready certification confirmed that months of joint training were successful. "We are able to perform the operational task assigned to us," said the commander of the Multinational Battle Group, Col. Miroslav Vybíhal.
picture by LTC Hoff, JFCBS PAO