• It is Thursday 30 January 2020 afternoon in the Jesenik Mountains and all has got quiet. Four days of tough struggle to beat nature’s traps, the challenges of activities and to push own limits are over for the military Winter Survival 2020 participants. New Czech Army champions celebrate, Austrians enjoy the deserved silver.
The Army of the Czech Republic International Outdoor Polyathlon Winter Survival 2020 arranged by the University of Defence for the Czech military forces, thoroughly tested soldiers' skills learnt in special physical training courses and military training, as well as their ability of fast and right decision making in mission accomplishment. Twelve out of eighteen teams were able to finish the competition. Most of the withdrawals due to team member injury continued in the competition without ranking, though. The disappointed soldiers were resolved to arrive at the finish of the most challenging three-day stage.
The matter of the last competition activities was primarily being fast in snowshoes running and ski relay race and skilful in throwing rubber grenades and in safe transport of an “injured” person. The teams first ran half a kilometre wearing snow shoes near “Kurzovni” Hotel and then performed two rounds of a ski relay race on the three-kilometre track. They also threw rubber grenades for precision within the relay race. Then, the “Transport of an Injured Person” activity followed right after the race. The teams used UT2000 stretchers and wore snow shoes for the activity. The Thursday kings under Praded Hill were safely the 102 reconnaissance battalion team members.
The 26th Army of the Czech Republic International Outdoor Polyathlon Winter Survival 2020 winners are captain Michal Pech, master sergeant Miroslav Sroler and sergeant Jan Rada for the Logistics Agency team. “We had an intensive training before the event. Our teamwork showed effective. We did our best since the very beginning and were lucky. We are very happy for the victory” assessed captain Michal Pech his team result.
Silver medals were won by StWm Christof Wastl, Kpl Uwe Hochenwarter and OWm David Suntinger for the Austrian 26 Mountain Infantry battalion. Lieutenant Ladislav Sás, CPL Milan Wurst and SFC Josef Zlámal for the 73 tank battalion won the bronze medals.
The trophies to the winning teams were presented by University of Defence rector-commandant Brigadier General Bohuslav Přikryl, Cyber Defence and Information Operations Command commander Brigadier Miroslav Feix, deputy governor Jan Krkoška, Air Force and Air Defence Technical Institute director Petr Novotny and the championship partners' representatives. The ceremony took place in front of the spa mansion Libuše in Karlova Studánka Spa, watched by the spa visitors and residents.
Author: Pavel Pazdera, WS 2020 press officer, photo: The Dung Nguyen and Renáta Foltysová