Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic
The Ministry of Defence is the central authority of the state administration for ensuring the defence of the Czech Republic (CR) controls the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic (ACR) and administers the military regions. As the authority for ensuring the nation抯 defence, it contributes to the formation of a strategy for the military defence policy of the country, prepares a concept for operations planning of the state territory, suggests necessary defence arrangements to the government of CR, the Defence Council of CR, and the President of CR. In addition to other duties related to the defence of the country, it calls up citizens of CR to military service in case of war or in case the country is in danger. It organises co-ordination with armed forces of other countries within the framework of European Union structures.
The Ministry of Defence is the central authority of the state administration for ensuring the defence of the Czech Republic (CR) controls the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic (ACR) and administers the military regions. As the authority for ensuring the nation抯 defence, it contributes to the formation of a strategy for the military defence policy of the country, prepares a concept for operations planning of the state territory, suggests necessary defence arrangements to the government of CR, the Defence Council of CR, and the President of CR.
In addition to other duties related to the defence of the country, it calls up citizens of CR to military service in case of war or in case the country is in danger. It organises co-ordination with armed forces of other countries within the framework of European Union structures. Ministry of Defence executes its activities in accordance with the Czech Law No. 2/1969 Coll., ?6, in later amendments.
The Office is in charge of setting a concept of armaments and managing arms acquisition system. It supervises armaments projects, implementation of NATO Security Investment Programme, foreign aid for Czech defence and coordination and harmonisation of armaments in relation to both NATO and EU. The Office is responsible for applied defence research and development. For defence department units which do not have their own acquisition office, it provides procurement of military material and additional items for operation during the whole life cycle.
The Armaments Division of MoD is a concept, standard-creating and managing body of the Ministry of Defence for securing the process of strategic acquisition within the defence department. In addition, it ensures development of armaments systems, planning of armaments, administration of related programmes, implementation of pilot and strategic projects in armaments, infrastructure and a programme of joint NATO investment (NSIP - NATO Security Investment Programme) within the defence department. The Division is, moreover, in charge of research and development of defence technology and for harmonisation with NATO and EU member countries in armaments policy.
The 2011 Defense White Paper noted that "The current MoD organizational architecture ... often creates unproductive bodies with their own agendas and duplicated processes. At all levels in its system, the Ministry of Defence and its entities display problems stemming from the existence of organizational structures built in silos and managed in a linear way. This situation has resulted in a complicated and excessive apparatus with high personnel costs, which considerably burdens the Ministry of Defence with operative activities and associated administrative work. Instead of running conceptual activities, the Ministry is involved in meaningless bureaucratic procedures and processes and non-transparent internal regulations and is insufficiently integrated."
As of 01 January 1993, following the division of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic were formed according to law No. 15/1993 Dig., passed by the Czech National Council, the nation抯 legislative assembly of that time. The General Staff was engaged in tasks related to the division of former federal armed forces into two separate formations of national armed forces, and it created the military that can ensure the defence and sovereignty of newly formed Czech Republic.
The General Staff, as the body for direct control and command of troops, had developed and controlled a deep reorganisation of the military, which commenced on 1 July 1993. The reorganisation was based on the Concept of the Build-up of ACR until 1996. During the reorganisation and restructuring, the military was downsized in personnel, units and equipment, and it was proportionally located on the whole territory of the Czech Republic. To a significant level, the General Staff抯 personnel contributed to preparing and deploying Czech peacekeeping contingents.
Following accession of the Czech Republic to NATO in 1999, the General Staff fulfilled tasks related to integration of the Czech military into NATO structures. The Czech military units were incorporated into joint multinational forces of immediate and rapid response. At the same time, a fully NATO-interoperable command and control system was developed within the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic to meet the Alliance's standards. Also NATO standards for training had been introduced into the Czech military.
Since 1 April 2004, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic has been integrated into the structure of the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic. It is a decisive part of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic (ACR), which, according to the Czech Law No. 219/1999 Coll., referred to as the Defence Law, is comprised also of the Military Office of President of the Republic and the Castle Guard. The primary mission of ACR is to ensure the military defence of the country against aggression and to meet commitments derived from international obligations and treaties of the Czech Republic on collective defence. It is also set to fulfil tasks within peacekeeping operations in regions of instability or conflicts, and to implement rescue and humanitarian missions both on the national territory and abroad.
The supreme commander of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic is President of the Republic, while the highest military commander is Chief of the General Staff of ACR. The ACR is formed by Joint Forces, and Support Forces.
On 1 January 1993, the Czech Republic was established. During the period 1989 to 2000 the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic underwent some downsizing and re-posturing. In March of 1999, the Czech Republic became a member of the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO). During the period February to April 2001, a Strategic Defense Review was developed by the Ministry of Defense. Concurrently, the Vision 2010 - 2015 was being developed by the General Staff. On May 14, 2001 the Government made the decision to establish the Commission for Preparation of the Reform of the Armed Forces and to place that Commission directly under the Minister of Defense. The Commission published the Principles and Aims of the Reform and that document was approved on August 29, 2001. On April 29, 2002 the Concept of Professionalization and Mobilization was submitted to the government.
Structuring the Armed Forces in a Joint, Air Ground team approach to provide for the defense of the sovereignty of the Czech Republic is appropriately the first priority. The Concept of Reform depicts a streamlined force that is capabilities based. The objective force structure is 34 - 36,000 military personnel and less than 10,000 civilians with a total wartime strength 1.8 times the peacetime strength. This force provides balanced air- ground and specialization capabilities.
The concept for this structure includes a stratified readiness approach that provides a logical basis for being a complementary part of the NATO structure. Reducing the number of headquarters while making the force a small, sustainable and responsive force is an appropriate way to achieve balance between national and Alliance responsibilities. Using the NATO Non-Article 5 CRO (high intensity) as the basis for sizing the Czech program force is an appropriate metric. This provides for the rotational readiness packaging of the force to assure that its deployability and sustainability can be planned for properly while providing adequate opportunity for collective training and readiness.
Combat Support consists of various capabilities, such as military intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, electronic warfare, air support, ground-based air defence, fi re support, CBRN defence, combat engineer support, information and psychological operations, and civil-military cooperation. Czech Armed Forces are supported by an effi cient system of ISR5 and electronic warfare, including the capabilities of classified transfer and sharing of intelligence information, updating the database of lessons-learned and electronic warfare countermeasures.
A Region is a specific Czech administrative territorial unit headed by a military officer, who administer the area and where the Military Office for Forests and the Military Forests and Farms manage the territory. More than two thousand people live inside the five Military Regions, which are a prohibited area for civilians without permission of any Military Region Office. The need of large Military Regions, which administer the Military Training Areas, has decreased with downsized military force and cuts in budgets for the Czech military.
The area of all five current Military Regions - Boletice, Brdy, Brezina, Hradiste and Libava - covers 129,664 hectars (?500 square miles), which is 1.7 % of the Czech Republic磗 territory. Great parts of the Regions are earmarked for military training as Military Training Areas. With gradual downsizing of troops and lower resources available, the Military Training Areas are not used economically and represent a financial burden in relation to guarding, keeping and maintenance of buildings, facilities and training installations spread over the areas.
Compared to neighboring countries Austria, Germany, Poland and Slovakia, the Czech military keep the largest area of the country磗 overall territory. While in 1993 one Czech soldier statistically covered 1.1 hectar, in 2011 the number is 5.5 hectars. While the Military Region Brdy, south-west of Prague, founded in 1926, will be abandoned, the area of other four Regions will be decreased by some 20 %. Changes, based on findings of the White Paper on Defence introduced this May, are subject to new legislature, and are supposed to come in effect after 2015.
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