It is not just a random event, that the Polish SOF would be supported by the Czech forces. In January 2024 the Polish SOF Component started its 6 months alert duty within the NATO Response Force. Czech and Polish SOF components also have a long-standing tradition of cooperation.
Czech Task Force Hippo consists of 100 persons and three helicopters. Apart from the rotary-wing assets, the element would also use ground support equipment of its own. The Czech unit will be stationed in Poland throughout the year 2024. The unit includes the flying crews, ground crews, logistics specialists, and „other specialists”. The 22nd Base in Náměšť nad Oslavou hosts most of the Czech military helicopter assets, including several Mi-35 attack helicopters, 15 Mi-171s, and the newly commissioned AH-1Z Vipers and UH-1Y Venoms.
The Czech helicopters would be used for transport and reconnaissance sorties in Poland. Considering the fact they would be working closely with the SOF component, insertion and extraction training may also be on the menu.
The crews deployed are said to have broad experience in similar operations - also gathered during foreign deployments, for instance in Afghanistan. The deployment in Poland had been preceded by a long training cycle that simulated a plethora of incidents in operational and reconnaissance context, and also in the domain of logistics and force protection.
Col. Marcin Janatka, Chief of Staff at the Operational Command summarized this, saying that the objective was to check whether the unit would be able to conduct operations on deployment locations, handle the emergencies, communicate, and work with the upper levels of the command chain, allies, and the host nation.