Multinational exercise of Gripen users, Lion Effort 2015, is taking place at Čáslav air base in the Czech Republic between May 11 and 24, 2015. Saab is proud that the Gripen users managed to establish a platform for such an efficient cooperation that confirms the versatility of the Gripen system. Apart from the Czech Air Force, Gripen fighters of the air forces of Sweden and Hungary also participate. The exercise also includes participation of representatives of the Thai Royal Air Force, as well as Polish F-16 and German Eurofighter operating from their home bases.
“It is an honour for the Czech Air Force to host this year’s Lion Effort which also marks ten years of flying the JAS-39 Gripen in our Air Force”, says Brigadier General Libor Štefánik, the Commander of the Czech Air Force. “Having NATO Allies and Partner Nations flying together is a great opportunity. The air and ground crews will learn from each other and further improve their interoperability”.
The Czech Republic will also fly L-159 light fighter aircraft, CASA transport aircraft as well as Mi-24 attack helicopters and Mi-171 transport helicopters. NATO Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) platform will assist with command and control operating in Poland. Participating aircraft will conduct air-to-air trainings of tactics, techniques, and procedures that allow them to practice cooperation and to operate together.
Lion Effort as a tri-annual international exercise of Gripen users took place in Hungary in 2009 for the first time, followed by Sweden in 2012. South Africa is considering hosting the next meeting in 2018.
Several special events will take place at the 21st Tactical Air Force Base Čáslav during the Lion Effort 2015:
May 14 – Spotters Day for interested media
May 21 – Distinguished Visitor Day attended by chief of General Staff, General Josef Bečvář, and commanders of allied and partner Air Forces
May 22 – Czech Air Force celebrates 10 years of operating the Gripe; commanders of allied and partner countries as well as other important guests invited
May 23 – Open Day, including air show