PRAGUE, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- With the arrival of Slovak L-39 aircraft and Mi-17 transport helicopters at the Namest base on Wednesday, the military exercise Ramstein Rover (RARO) 2013 of NATO formally started and it will end on Sept. 21, said exercise spokeswoman Jolana Fedorkova.
"Now we are in the preparatory part when particular participants undergo theoretical preparation. Further foreign planes will arrive at the base gradually," she said.
The exercise is based on the latest information and experience from Afghanistan. Exercise director Harry Schnell said the training is an optimal preparation of forward air controllers who will be operating in Afghanistan until end-2014.
He said the NATO command is switching to a new structure and it has not yet made a decision on the form and mainly the venue of RARO in the years to come.
"To make the illusion of reality, ground forces playing the role of our own soldiers as well as the opponent's units will also take part in the exercise besides air units," the exercise's Czech director Zdenek Bauer said.
RARO follows up a series of Flying Rhino exercises held on Czech territory in the past years.