The lower chamber of the Czech parliament (Poslanecká sněmovna Parlamentu České republiky) passed the bill allowing deployment of country’s armed forces on foreign operations in 2021-2022.
The bill, which was presented by the Czech Minister of Defense, Lubomír Metnar, was approved by the Chamber of Deputies on 29th September.
‘We are not proposing any news compared to the mandate ending this year, but we have taken into account the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, Czech soldiers will continue their missions in the same countries as currently. The approval of the mandate is a signal that we are a reliable partner in NATO, the EU and the UN. All missions we participate in are stabilization and training. In accordance with the Government's Program Statement, the main goal is to protect the Czech Republic against terrorism and illegal migration.’, said minister Metnar.
According to the proposal the maximum number of Czech soldiers deployed on foreign missions will reach 851 in 2021 and 946 in 2022. For comparison, the current limit is 1096 soldiers.
Year to year increase in the period 2021-2022 results from the fact that in two years’ time a Czech contingent will commence operation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania under the NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission. It will be the fourth time in history, when Czech multirole fighter aircraft will protect the airspace of the Baltic States.
A breakdown of Czech Armed Force’s foreign operations in 2021-2022:
- Afghanistan (Resolute Support mission) – max. 205 people (now 390);
- Iraq (Global Coalition Against Daesh and NATO Training Mission) – max. 80 people (now 110);
- eFP mission in the Baltics - max. 290 people (now also 290);
- Mali (EU training mission and UN mission MINUSMA) - 135 people (now 150);
- MFO operation in Sinai – max. 20 people and a CASA C-295M aircraft (now 25);
- Air Policing in the Baltics in 2022 – max. 95 people with five JAS 39 Gripen multirole fighter aircraft.
The planned financial costs for foreign deployments is lower than in the current mandate. The expected maximum amount spent on operations is CZK 1.73 billion in 2021 and CZK 1.8 billion in 2022 (CZK 2.4 billion and CZK 2.34 billion were planned for 2019 and 2020, respectively).