Secretary General visits US ''Dragoon'' military convoy in the Czech Republic
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked US troops for their service and their strong contribution to keep Allies safe during a visit to the Prague-Ruzyne military barracks in the Czech Republic on Wednesday (9 September 2015). Together with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Mr. Stoltenberg greeted soldiers and viewed Stryker armoured vehicles taking part in a military convoy from Germany to Hungary. During their visit, the Secretary General and Prime Minister Sobotka were each presented with a ceremonial spur. Thanking the soldiers for their service, Mr. Stoltenberg said “you are doing a really important job, extremely important for collective defence and assurance”.
From 13 September to 21 October, around 500 US soldiers and 110 armored vehicles from the US 4th Squadron, 2nd Calvary Regiment will make the 800 kilometer journey from their base in Vilseck, Germany through the Czech Republic and Slovakia to Hungary. The convoy, dubbed the “Dragoon Crossing” is designed to reassure NATO Allies that the United States military is ready if needed. It will also allow the troops to interact regularly with locals they meet on their way across Central Europe.
A dragoon is a mounted soldier or cavalryman. The US soldiers who met with Mr. Stoltenberg are part of an advance unit which will prepare the route for the convoy´s transit, scheduled for Sunday and Monday.
The Secretary General is in the Czech Republic for talks with senior government officials. Later on Wednesday, he will meet with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek, Defence Minister Martin Stropnicky, and other senior government officials in Prague. The main topic of the talks will be NATO´s adaptation to the changing security environment.