Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Czech Republic Army marks end of mission

Multi-National Force-Iraq

Friday, 05 December 2008

Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Phoenix Base
APO AE 09348

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Release No. 081205-03
December 05, 2008
Contact: pao@mnstci.iraq.centcom.milThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
DSN: 318-852-1333
IRAQNA: 0790-194-0636

Czech Republic Army marks end of mission

TAJI, Iraq – The Czech contingent, Senior Iraqi and Coalition partners gathered at the Iraqi Army Armor School here Dec. 4 to mark the Czech Republic end-of-mission and to recognize the Czechs for their work training and advising the Iraqi Army.

14 Soldiers commanded by Czech Republic Army Maj. Frantisek Grmela, provided trainers and advisors to the Iraqi Army Armor School at Taji for the past six months.

“We won’t forget our friends in the Czech Republic. They presented all kinds of expertise through opening new training and educational courses for the 9th Division and the support they give to the school with trainers and training aids gave us the highest level of training,” said Iraqi Army Col. Ghazi, Commandant of the Iraqi Army Armor School.

“During my more than three years of duty as Ambassador of the Czech Republic, I have seen dramatic change in Iraq; political, economical and, of course, in the field of security. The Czech Republic has shown our partners and the Iraqis that we are a reliable member of the Coalition,” said Czech Republic Ambassador Petr Voznica.

"We started in 2003 by providing help to Coalition forces and Iraqi citizens at a field hospital in Basrah. Then we trained Iraqi police and Iraqi border police in Shaiba in the south of Iraq. Then we moved to the Taji Armor School to train-the-trainers to increase the capabilities of the Iraqi Army,” said Voznica.

Praising the Czech contingent trainers, Voznica stated, “They have done an extremely good and valuable job here and let me say that we are proud of having such professionals. I am a retired major general of the army and it would be an honor for me to have these Soldiers always and anywhere with me.”

“The Government of Iraq and the Iraqi Security Forces have proven their ability to govern and secure Iraq,” added Voznica.

“Every soldier wants to go home knowing that they’ve made a contribution during their time away from home. Maj. Grmela and his team have done exactly that. They have assisted the Armor School in training, providing training devices and have worked with the 2nd Battalion of the 34th brigade. I know they have some special memories to take home with them,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Steven Salazar, commander of the Coalition Army Advisory Training Team from Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq.

The final speaker, Grmela, concluded, “We are all Soldiers. We understand each other, even when sometimes there is a language barrier. There arose a number of close professional relationships. We appreciate the chance to share parts of our lives with you.”

Attending the ceremony, in addition to Voznica, Salazar and Ghazi, were Romanian Army Brig. Gen. Mihai Chirita, deputy director, Multi-National Forces - Iraq CJ5 coalition; Canadian Army Brig. Gen. Nicolas Matern, Multi-National Corps – Iraq deputy commanding general - Coalition and Infrastructure, and Iraqi Army Brig. Gen. Sabah, Commander of Taji Location Command.

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FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS RELEASE, CONTACT THE MULTI-NATIONAL SECURITY TRANSITION COMMAND – IRAQ PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE BY E-MAIL AT PAO@IRAQ.CENTCOM.MIL OR BY PHONE AT DSN: (318) 852-1332 OR IRAQNA: 0790-194-0270. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR ORGANIZATION VISIT: WWW.IRAQ.CENTCOM.MIL.



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