Dark Blade 2019 was the 13th Blade exercise organised by the European Defence Agency (EDA) and the first in the Czech Republic. Kees Otten and Wim Das witnessed the action.
The Czech Republic’s first experience of hosting a Blade exercise coincided with the decision to expand the range of elements and composite actions. Colonel Miroslav Svoboda was exercise director and is base commander of Námešt and Oslavou’s 22. základna vrtulníkového letectva (22nd Helicopter Base), part of the Vzdušné síly Armády Ceské republiky (VzS ACR, Air Component of the Army of the Czech Republic). He told AFM: “As a member of the EDA, we were committed to the HEP [Helicopter Exercise Programme] exercises for many years and applied to host in 2019.”