Prague/Pardubice, East Bohemia, April 17 (CTK) – The Czech military ended the patrolling of the Bagram allied base in Afghanistan at the end of March and the large-capacity Ruslan aircraft transported part of the materiel of the patrolling battalion to Czechia today, General Staff spokeswoman Magdalena Dvorakova has told CTK.
The Czech patrolling battalion “finished its operational task within the foreign operation Resolute Support in Afghanistan on the last day of March,” Dvorakova said.
However, the Czech military continues to be present in Afghanistan. Doctors operate in a field hospital at a base in Kabul and training units are deployed in the country. There is also a Czech unit with the ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle, which cooperated with the patrolling battalion until recently.
Czech soldiers were patrolling the Bagram base from 2013. Thirteen units and some 2,000 soldiers rotated in this Afghan mission. Eight Czech soldiers were killed in two suicide attacks, five of them in 2014 and three in 2018.
When patrolling the base, the Czech soldiers cooperated with U.S., Georgian and Afghan troops.
The Czech unit was responsible for the protection of the Bagram air base from the outside and the prevention of hostile activities of the rebels. They drove in the surroundings of the base, monitored the situation, checked places from which the rebels had set off missiles and gathered intelligence.
The first of three Ruslan aircraft landed in Pardubice today with material of the last patrolling battalion.
This month, the Czech unit prepared its material, vehicles, arms, ammunition, communication devices, gear and equipment for the transport to the Czech Republic. The soldiers have been returning home gradually in April.
In February, the USA made a peace deal with Taliban and pledged that all NATO soldiers, including Czechs, would leave Afghanistan within 14 months. Taliban promised that it will not let its members or any other groups to attack the USA and its allies from the Afghan territory.