General Řehka took command of the army.

On June 30, 2022, the incoming Chief of the General Staff, Karel Řehka, symbolically took over the position from his predecessor, Aleš Opata, in Prague’s Vítkov. During the Armed Forces Day celebrations, the current head of the army handed him the battle banner of the General Staff. Řehka will officially take over the position on July 1.

 Defense Minister Jana Černochová (ODS) agreed with Zeman on his appointment as Chief of the General Staff at the beginning of June. She thanked the abbot for his four-year service at the head of the army and for what he had done for the Czech Republic. The same ceremony as for the Chief of the General Staff took place in the case of the new Chief of the Military Police, Otakar Foltýn, who took over the Combat Battalion of the Military Police and the post of Chief from his predecessor, Miroslav Murček. Černochová also thanked Murček for his service. She noted that thanks to the deployment of him and the military police, last year’s evacuation from Afghanistan took place without loss of life.
 The incoming Chief of the General Staff, Karel Řehka, wants to focus on the immediate combat capability of the army and its readiness for deployment in shorter time periods. According to him, the demands on the preparedness of each soldier will increase. He said this on Thursday in Vítkov, where he symbolically took over the post of head of the army from his predecessor Aleš Opata. “I am deeply convinced that the army is there to fight, and if it is not fighting, it should prepare for the fight. That is the main role of the army and the only role in which the army is irreplaceable,” said Řehka. He therefore considers it his primary task to ensure that, when needed, the Czech army is ready for battle and able to withstand it.

Řehka said that recently, even in view of the terrible war in Europe, a radical change in the security environment has occurred, which cannot be ignored. “Although the modernization and development of our army are well thought out and well set, there are already and will continue to be major changes in the requirements for armies both at the alliance and national level,” he said.  According to him, this will affect the further preparation and development of the army. “We will have to focus more on the immediate combat capability of the army and readiness for deployment in shorter time periods than we were used to until now. The demands on the readiness of each soldier, the strategic flexibility of the army as a whole will increase,” he noted. According to him, the army will have to constantly learn, closely monitor the development of the operational environment and be able to adapt to it.  He promised to continue the planned modernization and preparation for the “highest intensity” fight. He considers rearmament of the heavy brigade to be one of the most pressing tasks, not only the delayed purchase of infantry fighting vehicles, but also other related projects. He also recalled other modernization projects such as the purchase of tanks or fighter planes. He also emphasized the need to face hybrid threats and prepare to fight in all domains, that is, in addition to land and air, also in the cyber domain, in the information environment, the electromagnetic spectrum and in space.
 Armed Forces Day was declared in 2002 as a reminder of the event from 1918, when the first Czechoslovak independent unit was officially established near the French town of Darney. On the same day, France publicly supported the right to an independent Czechoslovak state.
JK

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