Italian Alps approved
Czech Special Forces carried out training in Italian Alps second time in a row at the end of January. This training had been patronage by Italian " Special Forces". Recently returned from combat employment in Afghanistan, Italians informed Czech operators about current events in the area, where Czech SOF operated in the past.
Training in altitude around 3000 m has focused on perfection to lead special operations with enormous stress at stay in area of " thin air". Our Special Forces gathered strategic information on objects and targets, which subsequently striking forces annihilate.
In short, we assess that the way of preparation in winter alpine terrain conditions proved itself. Tactical drills perfectly prepared our unit in unusual environment, whereas demanding preparation attains expected evaluation. Generally, we can remind last year winter International Exercise COLD RESPONSE 07 in Norway, where our teams were assessed as one of the best in underprivileged community of Special Forces.
Deputy MoD MUDr. Martin Barták visited 601st skss
In the beginning of this week evaluation performance of the main objectives and achieved results in training year 2007 went ahead. Except Commanders appearance here, director of military intelligence BG Ondrej Páleník, who has evaluated last year from direct senior 601st SFG position.
1st deputy MoD CR MUDr. Martin Bartak visited 601st SFG at those purposes.
In the beginning deputy passed on regards from MoD to soldiers of 601st SFG and at the same time stressed MoDs disappointment of her absence due to important government duties.
Deputy thanked for achieved results, proved in passed combat missions, external exercises and at the daily task fulfillment of demanding duty.
Last but not least on behalf of the highest command of MoD made certain about support of our unit.
In conclusion of this special event, unit commander Col. Milan Kovanda handed over to Mr. Bartak commemorative coin of 601st SFG. „ Accept this as expression of respect and acknowledgment for support of 601st SFG and well - kept to us favour, “ said commander.
His visit concluded meeting with Prostejov representative, where city major Jan TESAŘ assured deputy about very good cooperation with 601st skss.
Christmas Eve with children from primary school and child's home in Prostejov
It has already became a tradition, soldiers of 601st SFG visited children from primary school and child's home in Prostejove on Christmas summer - house. Children recited rhymes, danced, accompanying guitar sang and in conclusion deputies of 601st SFG deal small presents, which inevitably belongs to Christmass.
Unit commander hand over financial donation, gained from voluntary collection of 601st SFG in an amount 39 000 Kc to school director.
Foreign Exercises were common ends of 2007 enclosure for 601st SFG. Twice in a row soldiers of 601st SFG checked up their abilities on German territory.
Exercise ARRCADE FUSSION 07 focused on staff work and our members were integrated to the international CJFSOC. From here practiced planning and executing of special operations against imaginary enemy.
Verification of combat units in wide-range spectrum of special operations presents annual exercise ASSEGAI EYES.
This year's exercise took place at JMRC, which offer extensive objects- settlement, artificially created cave system, " kill house " (facility susceptible training fight in build-up area with live ammo) and other facilities, which brings training near to reality.
Except mentioned verification of personal standard, joint exercise with partnering states represents ideal facility for comparison of achieved level of readiness.
Exercise results and evaluation of foreign partners talks unambiguously in our favor: " Czech SFG is very capable element with outstanding experience from combat operations and with well mastered planning and executing of special forces tasks. “
( 19.12.2007 )
3rd anniversary of tragic incident - Remembrance Day
9th December 2007 will remind us of 3rd anniversary of tragic accident in Vrahovice. Accident of freight car with fast train resulted in five dead and six others injured soldiers of 601st SFG.
At the memorial in Vrahovice, the reverent place of unit, honor today their memory in conjunction with members of 601st SFG also director of military intelligence BG Ondrej Páleník, representatives' of Prostejov - city major Jan TESAŘ and deputy major Miroslav Pišťák, deputies state police, city police, victim dependents and other guests.
Let today's reverent act to be remembrance of ours fallen comrades.
In our hearts you will stay for ever.
Ambassador USA appreciated accomplishments of 601st SFG in operation Enduring Freedom 2006.
On the day of 2nd October 2007 the Ambassador USA Mr. Richard W. Graber visited the 601st Special Forces Group.
Mr. Ambassador, accompanied by his spouse, was welcomed by the Military Intelligence Director BG Ondrej Páleník and 601st SFG Commander Col Milan Kovanda on the soil of 601st SFG.
„ Special forces Steel-Man “
On 21. 9. 07 went ahead already fourth annual volume race in triathlon „ Special Forces Steel-Man" which consists of the three disciplines: swimming 500 m, cycling 50 km and 12 km run. The most demanding discipline of whole race has been swimming on account 14 ° C water temperatures. Weather favored other disciplines so general champion time 2:58:26 was more than good.
19 daredevils from order 601st SFG, RRSS and other ACR units took part in race, of it 14 athletes in the end executed time limit.
Festive announcement of winners went ahead by attendance of commander of 601st SFG and assistant manager RSS, who presented special price to fastest triathlon runner.
Unit commander congratulated to all competitors for their achievements and handed over along with diploma commemorative triathlon coin, which as he has decided belongs to all who has found courage to compete even at so chilling-bone water.
Selective procedure of 601st SFG
In period 17 to 23 September 2007 executed selective procedure of 601st SFG. 33 applicants took part, of it 24 reported to combat unit and 9 to other part of SFG.
Successfully completed 15 applicants for service at combat unit and 4 soldiers requesting to logistic and staff position.
Field Training Exercise
At the turn of August and September went ahead Field Training Exercise (OTC) of 601st SFG, which has been one of the main task in this training year. Main objective of the exercise was to check up knowledge, training skills and readiness to lead whole spectrum of special operations in conditions close to real settings „ of specialists “ in combat missions.
During exercise, director of military intelligence BG Ondrej Páleník visited Special Forces task group and was briefed by commander of 601st SFG about target and course of FTE. Integral part of exercise was an attendance of Special Reconnaissance Platoon Z (active reserves platoon), which reaffirmed its position on rows of 601st SFG with achieved results. Already tradition become cooperation with Rapid Reaction Unit of CR police (URN), whose team was also implemented to the listings of 601st SFG and conducted joint exercise tasks altogether with combat units .
„ I have to tell, that Field Training Exercise have been fulfilled in all single points on excellent, equally planning as exercise fulfillment “, said on final evaluation unit commander Col. Milan Kovanda.
( 14.09.2007 )
Unit commander - Colonel
On Friday 24 August.2007 on the basis of command ministress of defense JUDr. Vlasta Parkanová was granted a rank of Colonel to commander of 601st SFG Lt - Col Milanu Kovandovi.
BG Ondrej Páleník congratulated personally and handed over acknowledgments from ministress of defense for performance to Commander, during his visit here in Prostejov, first from his commission to the directorship of Military Intelligence.
Deputies of Prostejov, chief magistrate Ing. Jan Tesař and place-chief magistrate Miroslav Pišťák, as well as other distinct visitors joined congratulations.
International exercise FALCON 2007
In month June international Special Forces exercise took place with attendance of 601st Special Forces Group and American Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha.
Filling was chosen intentionally, directed from performance needs of the tasks during combat missions in Afghanistan. Exercise has begun by intensive shooting preparation, further followed by subjects: fight in buildings and built - up regions, attacks on vehicles various types, usage and co - operation of specialist (qualified sniper) and medical training.
Big contribution have also been deepening already strong bindings among operators, who together side by side subserve combat tasks against Al- Kaida and Taliban fighters in mission Enduring Freedom Afghanistan
( 10.07.2007 )
International musical festival for handicapped children and youth
Again, twelfth time in row members of 601st SFG assisted with preparation, organization and logistical support of international musical festival for handicapped children and youth. Event traditionally performed on Plumlov dam „ U vrbicek “ took place in period 6. to 7.6.2007.
Festive initiation of this year attended commander of 601.SFG LtCol. gst . Ing. Milan Kovanda and director of Special Forces HQ Brig.Gen. Ing. Ondrej PALENIK.
Cooperation of our troop with handicapped kids is already old tradition, in which we can provide these kids with help and support already so much needed.
Unit Sport day
On Friday 1st June 2007 in honor of our friends, who perished at fulfillment of duty we have organized unit sport day. This year for the first time we have conducted memorial race of David Bláha in football and memorial race of Pavel Mauer in remote march in one day. In a Sport day of 601st SFG also took part in football competition helicopter base Prerov, police CR, city police of Prostejov and firebase Prostejov.
Festive tournament kickoff performed father of David Bláha, who also lastly along with commander of 601st SFG LtCol. gst . Ing. Milan Kovanda hand over challenge cup into the arms of winners – team of „ pilots “ from Prerov.
Unit commander thanked to all for attendance and perfect organization of whole sport day.
„ I believe , that next year we all meet again at already 4th annual volume David Bláha memorial race, DUM SPIRO SPERO “ said commander in conclusion of whole action.
Ministry of Defense visited 601st SFG in Prostějov
On Friday 1.6.2007 commander of 601st SFG LtCol. gst . Ing. Milan Kovanda welcomed at Prostejov airport delegation of Ministry of Defense CR JUDr. Vlasta Parkanová. Along with MoD visited Special Forces deputy director of Military Intelligence Brig. Gen. Ing. Pavel Adam, vice chairman of the board for Foreign Affairs Defense and Safeness of senate PCR Tomas Topfer, vice chairman of the Committee for Defense of Parliament CR Ing. Michael Hrbata and other significant visitors.
At the hall of traditions commander of 601st SFG introduced Prostejov garrison and familiarized delegation with assignment and conception of development. After the introduction, director of Special Forces HQ Brig. Gen. Ing. Ondrej Páleník informed about activities of Special Forces contingent in combat operation Enduring Freedom on territory of Afganistan in 2006
After visit of hall of traditions delegation moved to prepared exhibit of special material and weapons systems used by 601st SFG , including recently introduced combat vehicles Land Rover Defender 110 Tdi (SOV), which are by feature unique in ACR.
At the end of visit, during official lunch, Ministry of Defense met with vice chairman of Olomouc district MUDr. Jitka Chalanková and vice major of Prostejov Miroslav Pistak. „ Relations with Prostejov garrison, especially then with 601st SFG I may characterize as above standard “ said vice major of Prostejov , „ which proves much public events, whereupon soldiers here participated.“
MoD CR JUDr. Vlasta Parkanová with sincere admiration evaluated excellent results in combat operations and high readiness of unit members.
Selection trial at 601st SFG
In the days of 14.5 to the 20.5.2007 selective trial of 601st Special Forces Group took part. 22 applicants, 12 requesting to combat unit and 10 to other non-combatant positions participated in selection.
The trial have successfully completed 5 applicants for service at combat unit and 5 requesting to logistic and staff positions.
Jubilee of the liberation day from fascism and significant day of unit
On 11.5.07 on the occasion of 62nd anniversary of the liberation from fascism traditionally pair with celebrations of significant day of unit took place. Invitation to ceremony was accepted by valuable guests......... (15.05.2007)
New combat vehicles at 601st SFG
601st Special Forces Group presents new vehicle Land Rover Defender 110 TDi Military Armoured 3, for Special Forces more known under the name SOV (Special Operations Vehicle), currently implemented to the gear of 601st SFG.
Chief of General Staff for the first time at the Special Forces
On Thursday 19th April 2007 601st SFG was honored with valuable visit of Chief of General Staff ACR General Lieutenant Vlastimil Picek. At Prostejov airport Gen Picek was welcomed by director of Special Forces HQ Brig. Gen. Ing. Ondrej Páleník and commander of 601st SFG Lt Col Milan Kovanda .
At the hall of traditions unit commander preliminary acquainted general Picek with Prostejov garrison and reported presentation about 601st SFG, determination and conception of development. Then General Palenik informed Chief of General Staff about activities of Special Forces contingent in Afghanistan in 2006.
Following part of visit belonged to exhibit of special equipment and weapon systems used by members of Special Forces.
Official part of visit culminated by introduction of new combat vehicles Land Rover Defender 110 Tdi, mark with abbreviation SOV(special operations vehicle), assigned to the unit equipment in the recent time. This vehicle has been modified and equipped according to needs and experience gained during combat mission of 601st SFG soldiers. General Picek personally christened vehicle with bottle of sparkling wine and expressed wishes of much success in further operations.
Chief of general staff also during his visit has met deputies of Prostejov city, major Ing. Jan Tesař and vice major Miroslav Pišťák.
During his visit general Picek hoisted achieved accomplishments in present combat missions and appreciated high level of readiness and professional attitude of Special Force members.
( 20.4.2007 )
Selection trial at 601st SFG
In the days of 10.4 to the 16.4.2007 selective trial of 601st Special Forces Group took part. 26 applicant, of it 7 requesting to combat unit and 19 to non-combatant positions participated in selection.
The trial have successfully completed 3 applicants for service at combat unit and 10 requesting to logistic and staff positions.
Winter Exercise COLD RESPONSE 07 in Norway
In March an international winter exercise over the Arctic Circle took place in Norway.Besides the members of 601st SFG, also Special Forces of other NATO member states took part in the Exercise.
The main emphasis was put on performing a wide range of special operations, primarily special reconnaissance and direct actions. In rough terrain also special material for fighting in arctic conditions was tested.
Our soldiers also practiced standard operational procedures in cooperation with the other groups of Special Forces, with helicopters, airplanes as well as speed boats.
The Commander of the Exercise, Vice Admiral Jan Reksten, who visited Czech group of Special Forces in the operational base, appreciated readiness, high morale and professionalism of the
601st SFG soldiers.
Czech unit was also honoured by the visit of the Commander in Chief of Norwegian Army, King Harald V, which confirms that Czech Special Forces have already won themselves a fair reputation within the Alliance.
Despite unfavourable weather conditions towards the end of the Exercise, our operators successfully completed all tasks they had been confronted with.
Training in the Italian Alps
Distinguished members of our unit took part in training in Italian Alps in January and February turn. Combat drill in winter conditions in a mountainous terrain fulfilled basic content of training.
Demanding training has been split up to phases in which our specialists practiced different tactical activities, specific for difficult environment. Big emphases were laid on medical training in mountain.
Whole practice training has culminated in a few days long exercise aimed to practice preparation, planning and conducting combat operation in hardly accessible Alpine terrain.
Our unit members are regularly invited to similar training organized by NATO Special Forces partners.
Herewith this training presented final preparation phase of 601st Special Forces Group for exercise in arctic conditions planned for this year over the Polar Circle in Norway.
Ceremonial hand-over of command
On January 1st 2007 a ceremonial act of handing over the command of the 601st SFG took place. It started in the Hall of Traditions, where a sculpture by Miroslav Srostlík
Moravský was unveiled. This marvellous piece of work depicts the hometown of the unit - the town of Prostějov.
The main part of the programme was the dress parade, attended by the Chief of the General Staff Armed Forces of the Czech Republic,Brigadier General Pavel Štefka, the Director of Millitary Intelligence,Brigadier General Miroslav Krejčík, the Mayor of Prostějov, Ing. Jan Tesař and other eminent guests, who came to thank and congratulate General Páleník and to encourage the new commander.
At the end of the ceremony flowers were laid down to the Memorial of the 601st SFG to commemorate the members of the unit who died in the course of duty.
Financial donation for the children from the Primary School and Children´s Home
As every year on Christmas Eve, members of 601st SFG, led by General Páleník and the Commander of the 601st SFG, Lieutenant-colonel of the General Staff Ing. Milan Kovanda, visited the Primary School and Children´s Home in Prostějov. The soldiers brought small gifts for the children and the Commander handed over the donation of 35000 CZK, collected from the 601st SFG members, to the Headmaster.
Accelerated promotion to the rank of brigadier general
On Deceber 4th 2006 the former Commander of 601st SFG, Colonel of the General Staff Ing. Ondrej Páleník was promoted to the rank of brigadier general.
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601st SFG has a new commander.
On January 1st 2007 Lieutenant-colonel of the General Staff Ing. Milan Kovanda assumed the position of a commander of the 601st SFG.
The mission of the 601st SFG Contingent in the Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan was completed by the return of the last group of our soldiers a week ago.
All combat tasks were fulfilled honourably and all servicemen came back home to their families.
Although the ceremonial ending of the mission is still to come, as well as a detailed analysis and evaluation of how the combat tasks were fulfilled, it is no exaggeration to say that it was the most difficult mission our army has seen in its modern history.