Gripen Decade – 10 years of the JAS-39 Gripen in the Czech Air Force

The official celebration of the 10th Gripen anniversary in the Czech Air Force took place in the morning on 22nd May 2015, at the 21st Air Force Base in Caslav.

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The anniversary celebration has started with the flypast of the formation of 10 Gripen fighters. In the sunny morning, the invited hosts and journalists could enjoy the tight arrow formation that flown twice over the Caslav AFB runway.

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The flying display was followed by the press conference held at the base, with the participation of Czech Minister of Defence Martin Stropnicky, the representatives of Swedish Ministry of Defence and Air Force, the director of Lion Effort exercise Lieutenant Colonel Jaroslav Mika and the Czech Air Force Commander Brigadier General Libor Stefanik.

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The conference focused on the 10 years of operation of the Gripen fighter jet in the Czech Air Force, the cooperation between Czech and Swedish Air Forces and the Lion Effort exercise. The future of Gripen was also discussed, including the expected updates to the Czech Gripens – air-to-ground capability, Link 16 tactical data exchange network and night vision equipment. It was released that Sweden would be the Special Partner Nation of 2015 NATO Days and the Czech Air Force would, most probably, fly to Iceland in July, performing the air policy mission. The current negotiations with the new potential Gripen customers were also mentioned.

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The final anniversary celebration took place in the auditorium hall and started with the speech of Brigadier General Libor Stefanik, followed by the performance of the Swedish representatives. The final speech was finished by the simply but emphatic words addressed to Brigadier General Libor Stefanik – „well done!“.

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