Members of the EU Military Committee at the COLLECTIVE SHIELD 2009 Exercise in the Czech Republic

The Joint Exercise of the Czech-Slovak EU Battle Battlegroup, Named COLLECTIVE SHIELD 2009 (CS 09), is Culminating.

On Wednesday 1 April 2009, the exercising units included in this Battlegroup, whose core comprises the 4th Taskforce Brigade, participating in the exercise taking place in the Hradiště Military Training Zone, were visited by the members of the EU Military Committee, led by its Chairman, French General Henri Bentégeat.

In the presence of First Deputy Minister of Defence Martin Barták; Lieutenant General Vlastimil Picek, the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Czech Republic (AČR); and General Ľubomír Bulík, the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic, they learned about the organisational structure, equipment and preparation of the Czech-Slovak Battlegroup and saw a dynamic and static demonstration of its work. Among other things, they had the opportunity to learn about the tasks of the Force Headquarters of the Battlegroup, and view a demonstration of the work of a patrol when attacked by an opponent, with a subsequent call for air support and the evacuation of casualties from the combat ground.

In the second half of this year, the Czech-Slovak Battlegroup will be included in the EU emergency system and prepared for dispatch into any operation on the basis of a decision of the EU Council. The CS 09 exercise, which runs in parallel in the Czech Republic and Slovakia from 23 March through 3 April, involving more than 2,000 Czech and 300 Slovak soldiers, is the culmination of several years of developing and preparing this joint Czech-Slovak unit.

At a press conference concerning the exercise, First Deputy Minister of Defence Martin Barták stated that CS 09 is another demonstration of the fact that the Czech Armed Forces are fully prepared to carry out tasks in NATO and EU operations. The Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forced of the Czech Republic, Lieutenant General Vlastimil Picek, appreciated that during the Czech Presidency our Armed Forces have the opportunity to present their preparedness and integrative abilities to the EU. “Czech and Slovak soldiers are very well prepared,” said General Henri Bentégeat, Chairman of the EU Military Committee, in commenting on the exercise. “In the event of their deployment in an EU operation in the second half of 2009, we can fully rely on their qualities.” General Bentégeat also thanked Lieutenant General Picek for the opportunity to hold a working meeting of the EU Military Committee in the Czech Republic and to learn about the status of preparedness of the Czech-Slovak Battlegroup. The working meeting of the EU Military Committee then continued with a working meeting with the main representatives of the Czech Armed Forces in Karlovy Vary.

The EU Military Committee is the highest military body set up under the EU Council. It comprises the chiefs of the general staffs of individual EU Member States who are, however, substituted in the regular work of the Committee by national military representatives in the EU (on the chief of general staff level, the Military Committee meets twice a year). The EU Military Committee is an advisory body to the EU Political and Security Committee on all military issues.

The EUMC has a permanent Chairman, who is a Four-Star flag officer, usually elected for a three-year term. He is proposed for the position by the EU Military Committee on the chief of general staff level and appointed by the EU Council. The Chairman of the EU Military Committee is also the military advisor to the Secretary General and High EU Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Collective shield 2009


  • Vladimír Lukovský, Press and Information Service of the Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic
  • tel.: +420 973 200 153, GSM: +420 724 006 780; e-mail:

Last update: 16.8.2011 15:35

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