Czech Republic officially joins the E-3A Component
During the accession ceremony
Gen. Vlastimil Picek (left), Chief of the General Staff for
the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic, hands over the Czech flag to Brig. Gen. Burkhard Pototzky,
E-3A Component Commander. The symbolic handover of the Czech flag is the final step in the implementation of
the accession of the Czech Republic to the NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control
(NAEW&C) programme in which 18 nations now participate.
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Geilenkirchen, 17 May 2011 -- Today, the Czech Air Force officially joined the E-3A Component. The Chief of the General Staff for the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic, General Vlastimil Picek, officially handed over the Czech flag to Brigadier General Burkhard Pototzky, Commander of the NATO E-3A Component.
The accession ceremony at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen and the symbolic handover of the Czech flag were the final steps in the implementation of the accession of the Czech Republic to the NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control (NAEW&C) programme, in which 18 nations now participate.
"We are very proud that our multinational Component has gained such a valuable new member. This accession advances the integration of the Czech Republic into NATO structures", says Component Commander Pototzky. And he adds, "With the Czech Republic as our newest wingman in NATO's air force, this Component will fly just a bit higher as we become even more capable and relevant for the future".
The negotiations on accession of the Czech Republic to the NAEW&C programme were completed mid 2009. On 14 December 2009 the Government of the Czech Republic approved the Supplements to the Memorandum of Understanding. The way to accession was open. The next important milestone was reached on 14 December 2010, when all member nations of the NATO Airborne Early Warning Programme Management Organization (NAPMO) had approved the incorporation of the Czech Republic into the NAEW&C programme.
One month later, on 18 January 2011, the accession process was finalized when the North Atlantic Council added the Czech Republic to the list of NAPMO nations. Today's accession ceremony at NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen is a milestone event, the official welcome to the Czech Republic and its servicemen at the Component. General Picek points out, "Today is a very important day for the Czech Republic, as it brings to a successful end our country's efforts to join the Airborne Early Warning & Control program".
During the accession process the Czech Air Force sent a liaison officer to Geilenkirchen. Currently, four Czech personnel are serving at Geilenkirchen. "From the first day here on base, we were fully integrated into the multinational team," says Major Milan Vojacek, the Czech Senior National Representative to the Component. "It is a great experience for me and my colleagues."