On the occasion of the NATO Days and the Days of the Air Force of the Army of the Czech Republic takin place in Ostrava the upcoming weekend, a strategic B-52 bomber will be on display again. This time, however, it appears in the company of Stratotanker KC-135 and F-16 aircrafts on Saturday, later being joined by CzechJAS-39 Gripen pilots accompanying their American colleagues on a joint flight over the Czech Republic.
On a thirty-hour journey without a stopover to the Czech Republic, the American strategic bomber will refuel in flight from the KC-135 Stratotanker. The plane arrives for the 20th NATO Days from their home base in Barksdale, Louisiana, USA. During the dynamic demonstration, it will be accompanied by a KC-135 taking off from Pardubice and five F-16 Fighting Falcons flying from the American base in Spangdahlem, Germany.
Citizens of the Czech Republic may see the formation of the aircrafts over Prague around 1 pm in the direction from Kbel Airport via the main railway station and further towards to the southwest. About 10 minutes later, the pilots will “greet” and fly over the Thank you, America! monument in Pilsen. Then the group splits again and heads back to their home airports.
“Close cooperation with the United States began in 1993, before our accession to NATO. It is gradually expanding, not only in the field of training, but also in the field of purchasing. Last such a project is the purchase of 12 Viper and Venom helicopters, “comments the Ministry of defense Lubomír Metnar on the American participation in the event.
“We have a great long-term cooperation with the American army,” said Army General Aleš Opata, Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Army.
We work together in foreign operations, organize exercises and cooperate in the education system. We have been working years with the Texas and Nebraska National Guard. Regular joint exercises include the ongoing Ample Strike. ”
Due to the current emergency measures against the spread of Covid-19, this year’s show in must be without visitors. However, the dynamic demonstrations will be broadcast live on Czech television, on the news portal idnes.cz and on the social networks of the Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic, the Czech Army and the organizer Jagello 2000.
Source: press release of the Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Army translated by the Liberation Festival Pilsen