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2013 Miltary Exercise
Ramstein Rover 2013 (RARO13) 4th-20th September, 2013
Location: 22nd Air Base Namest nad Oslavou, Czech Republic
Admission: Not open to public! Invitation and accreditation required
Value: Excellent
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The Magazine was invited for the media day held on September 17th to the Ramstein Rover 2013 NATO Exercise held primarily at the 22nd Air Base Namest nad Oslavou, Czech Republic. The Czech Republic was the host nation for the Ramstein Rover 2013 (RARO13) exercise that went on from September 4th to the 20th, organized by NATO’s Headquarters Allied Air Command (HQ AIRCOM ) in Ramstein, Germany.
The synopsis is to provide advanced training opportunity for Close Air Support (CAS) and FAC (Forward Air Controllers). It provides realistic pre-deployment training for forward air controllers to be deployed to NATO’s ISAF operation in Afghanistan, or if the need arises anywhere else too.
On the day we arrived, the media was taken by bus to the military training area just outside Names nad Oslavou Air Base. We arrived at the same time as did the hi-ranking officers from NATO HQ, from the Czech Air Force HQ and from the Czech Armed Force arrived to see the exercise.
The NATO troops were attacked by the insurgents (Taliban in this case) and they had to call in air support. The support was provided by the Mil Mi-24V “Hind” from the Czech AF and the air defense system consisted Bofors RBS 70 MANPADS to cover the airspace. Practice ammunition was used with some live explosives, it was recommended to protect our ears, as it was quite loud. We were only there for a partial part of the day. After boarding the bus time we returned to the Air Base and were driven directly to the ramp from which most of the aircraft participated in RARO13 operated from. There were additional aircraft that operated from different airfields: three Mil Mi-24V “Hinds” from Libava, Czech Republic, four Aero L-159A “Alca” from Caslav and the two Saab JAS-39C "Gripen” from Hungary from their home base in Kecskemét.
The journalists received are warm welcome from NATO HQ AIRCOM represented by Colonel Harry H. Schnell (German Air Force) the Exercise Director and Brigadier General Hakan Evrim (Turkish Air Force) and Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Petr Pavel (Armed Forces of Czech Republic).
We arrived at the right in time on the ramp to see the Slovenian PC-9M’s “Hudournik” armed with bombs. We could watch this procedure from a safe distance. It’s not often one sees the arming of aircraft with real ammunition. We got also some rare views of the L-39’s and Alca’s with different type of ordinance such as rocket and gun pods.
The missions during the day were mostly flown by the Czech L-159 Alca’s and L-39 Albatros, the Slovak L-39 Albatros and the Slovenian PC-9M’s. The German PC-9B’s (from E.I.S. Aircraft) and the Learjet 35A (from GFD = Gesellschaft für Flugzieldarstellung) were busy on the day too. During our stay we had many options including to stay on the ramp, next to the taxiway and runway, and even go up to the tower which offered an interesting point of view.
Due the inclement weather on the day of our visit many operations were cancelled. As a results the Turkish F-16’s and the Polish Su-22’s cancelled their missions. In the late evening the weather cleared, and the Turkish Air Force F-16’s visiting from 161 Filo based in Bandirma, Turkey, flew several missions in the last light of the day.
Over all it was a great experience to spend a day during at this kind of exercise. We saw the highly trained troops, FAC’s working together with officers, skilled ground crews and aircrews from different nations in a realistic scenario based upon current situations that could happen anytime at any where.
NATO Exercise Facts:
Codename: Ramstein Rover 2013
Facts Category:Non-Article 5 Level: 1,
Level: Current Operations – Deployed
Form: LIVEX (Live Exercise)
Type: AIREX (Air Exercise)
Exercise Director: Colonel Harry H. Schnell (German Air Force / HQ AIRCOM)
Co Exercise Director: Colonel Zdenek Bauer (Czech Air Force)
Commander 22nd Air Base: Colonel Jiri Vavra
RARO 2013 Flying Assets:
  • 3 x Sukhoi Su-22 (Polish Air Force)
  • 5 x F-16 (Turkish Air Force)
  • 2 x Saab JAS-39 Gripen (Hungarian Air Force)
  • 3 x Mil Mi-24V Hind (Czech Air Force)
  • 2 x Areo L-39 Albatros (Czech Air Force)
  • 2 x Mil Mi-171 (Czech Air Force)
  • 4 x Aero L-159A Alca (Czech Air Force)
  • 2 x Aero L-39 Albatros (Slovak Air Force)
  • 2 x Mil Mi-17 (Slovak Air Force)
  • 2 x PC-9M (Slovenian Air Force)
  • 1 x Learjet 35A ( Germany Civilian Operator)
  • 2 x PC-9B ( Germany Civilian Operater)
Ramstein Rover 2013 After Action Facts
39 FAC teams from 18 nations, in total 186 FAC (91 FAC trainees + 95 instructor and support staff). NATO aircrew flew 426 sorties. NATO Forward Air controllers executed a total of 1050 control runs.
Exercise director Colonell Harry H. Schnell said that RARO 2013 was most successful again. .
ASR Media would like to thank Maj. Jolana Fedorkova from the Czech Air Force Headquarters for the invitation, Maj. Sabina Introvicova, Czech Air Force Headqurters and Manfred Reudenbach from HQ AIRCOM Ramstein Air Base, Germany for their cooperation and the hospitality on base
Rating: N/A not an air show

Photography and report by Wolfgang Jarisch for ASR MEDIA LLC
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