The University of Defence opened the 23rd General Staff Course (GSC) on 4 September 2009 at the presence of the Chief of General Staff lieutenant general Vlastimil Picek. This prestigious course that represents the ultimate military education available in the Czech Republic will have eight students selected from Czech military officers.
In the beginning, the new students were welcomed to university grounds by the University of Defence deputy rector colonel Josef Trojan who briefed them of University's principal tasks and goals, not excepting studies. As he pointed out, the ten months of the course will require their full engagement in all activities to succeed.
Then, the first lecture in the course was delivered by the Chief of General Staff lieutenant general Vlastimil Picek. Its topic concerned the status of completion of the primary goals defined for the Czech armed forces in 2009 and the plan for 2010.
General Vlastimil Picek mentioned a principal task for this year had been to keep on increasing the percentage of deployable units in line with "Istanbul criteria" among others that had been met. His lecture also touched the averse consequences of economic crisis to defence development, including the inevitable reduction of personnel.
Covered in another part of his lecture, general Picek made the audience acquainted with the elaborated "Czech Army Development Concept" that describes the objectives and processes of the Army of the Czech Republic development until 2020. He also defined the principal commitments of the Czech forces in 2010. They include engagement in overseas missions and involvement in EU BG building under German Federal Republic's leading.
To represent regional and municipal authorities, Mr. Martin Belcik, the South Moravia region governor's aide, and Ms. Marie Zezulkova, who leads the Municipal Strategy Office at the Brno city hall, were also present at the opening meeting. Both of the two representatives presented their authorities views of the Czech military forces and opened the issues of interest important for the region and municipality, respectively.
Being a part of senior officers lifelong learning program, the responsibility for General Staff Course syllabus belongs to University's of Defence Institute for Strategic and Defence Studies.
Text and Photo: Pavel Pazdera