Search our content

Home  /  Newsroom  /  News  /  2022  /  Czech air defence forces prove prowess during exercise in Lithuania

Nov 28 2022

Czech air defence forces prove prowess during exercise in Lithuania

SZCZECIN, Poland – Conducted on October 17-30, exercise Iron Wolf 2022 served as an opportunity for the Czech soldiers with NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup Lithuania to display the full scope of their air defence capabilities. Using the RBS-70 air defence systems, the Czech Ground Based Air Defence (GBAD) unit provides Short-Range Air Defence (SHORAD) protection for all sub-formations of the Battlegroup. 

Hosted by the Lithuanian Army, the large-scale military exercise Iron Wolf operates in conjunction with NATO Allies to facilitate integrated deterrence along NATO's eastern flank. “GBAD conducted two main tasks during Iron Wolf," Major Petra Pihera, the Commander of the Czech contingent, explains,

First of all, providing early warning of air attacks, and secondly – providing air defence for the eFP units under the German command.

Alongside Belgium, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States, the Czech Army 252nd Anti-Aircraft Missile Detachment was one of nine Allies participating in Lithuania’s largest military exercises, Iron Wolf, at Pabrade Training Ground / Photo by NATO eFP Battlegroup Lithuania

In such a complex delay and defend operation, the Czech detachment's maneuverability was put to the test multiple times. One of the biggest challenges involved changing locations during the operation.  When the "enemy" forces were approaching, the launcher squad and the unit’s command post had to pull back and move to a new position. In order to execute it safely, a reconnaissance was necessary. The movement itself was conducted at night, and it encompassed a column of over 20 military vehicles, all driving in complete blackout conditions on unimproved roads, with drivers utilizing night vision goggles.

During Iron Wolf 2022, the Czech Army contributed to improving cooperation and interoperability with regard to airspace protection / Photo by NATO eFP Battlegroup Lithuania

Having reached their destination, the reconnaissance team yet again dispatched from the squad and the command post in order to provide security for all phases of the operation. “The coordination of RBS-70 firing squad movements with the other parts of the Battlegroup was the most difficult activity during the exercise”, says Captain Z. C., the GBAD Commander, while the squad Commander, Sergeant J. K. adds, “The cooperation with the other partners was the biggest benefit of the exercise. Everybody has their role there and must fulfill it."

The Czech GBAD unit ensures short range, ground based air defence for the eFP Battlegroup in Lithuania. It can operate against targets with a range of up to 6 km and at an altitude of 3 kilometres. It consists of four launcher squads, several command vehicles, two mobile radars and an air reconnaissance squad. The GBAD unit is supported by a logistical element and a force protection platoon.

Story by Multinational Corps Northeast Public Affairs Office based on release provided by NATO eFP Battlegroup Lithuania 

Search our content:


Multinational Corps Northeast
Waleriana Łukasińskiego 33
71-215 Szczecin

Media Operations

Public Affairs Office
Waleriana Łukasińskiego 33
71-215 Szczecin