|Allegiance Czech Republic|
|Branch Czech Army|
|Active 1 December 2003 – present|
Part of 53rd Regiment of Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare
The 102nd Reconnaissance Battalion of General Karel Palecek (Czech: 102. průzkumný prapor generála Karla Palečka) is a reconnaissance battalion in the Czech Army based in Prostejov. It falls under the command of the 53rd Regiment of Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare.
Mission and training
The 102nd Reconnaissance Battalion is the sole reconnaissance battalion in the Czech Army. It is capable of conducting long-range ground reconnaissance, aerial reconnaissance, human intelligence as well as observing and eliminating organized resistance. It forms the basis of an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance task-force unit.
The 102nd Reconnaissance Battalion currently consists of:
The battalion was formed in 2003 after a merger of four different reconnaissance battalions - the 2nd, 4th, 7th and 11th Reconnaissance Battalions. The battalion was activated on 1 December in Prostejov. Part of Joint Forces Command, it became the only reconnaissance battalion in the Czech Army and since 2011 has come under the command of the 53rd Regiment of Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare.
Military operations and deployments
Reconnaissance Patrol Competition
The Reconnaissance Patrol Competition is a national military patrolling exercise that makes its participating units cover more than 100 kilometers in three days while performing numerous types of military tasks. It is a test of leadership, self-discipline, courage, physical endurance, determination and knowledge of wide range of reconnaissance skills.
The history of this event which is organized uniquely by the 102nd Reconnaissance Battalion reaches back to 2006. The initial idea was to compare the level of skills and readiness of reconnaissance troops within the battalion but it was the year later when the competition was opened to other units of the Czech Army. This event usually takes place at the end of August. Due to its demanding nature, severe condition and physical challenge only two thirds of contestants usually finish this competition.
Charity events have been organized annually by the 102nd Reconnaissance Battalion since 2009 in order to raise money for children in need. Handing over of the charity voucher is usually connected with sport activities and social events organized for service members, their families and guests.
Visitors' and Presentation Day
Visitors' and Presentation Day of the 102nd Reconnaissance Battalion has been annually organized for children from Prostejov as well as for service members and their families. The program usually includes a presentation of military vehicles, weapons and equipment. Visitors can also watch a training display of parachute jumps, a demonstration of the MUSADO military combat system, or a simulated ambush. This event takes place in June.
The 102nd Reconnaissance Battalion Patch has a circular shape depicting several objects which have symbolic meaning relating closely to the battalion, its sub-units or history. A white parachute represents the airborne-reconnaissance units, a pair of yellow wings represents the ability to conduct an aerial reconnaissance, a pair of yellow bolts used to represent Electronic Warfare unit which used to be a part of the 11th Reconnaissance Battalion, and nowadays it represents the ability to pass the information quickly from the battlefield and finally the assault knife which is a symbol of a long-range reconnaissance unit. The dark green color of the background of the patch represents the color of reconnaissance units in general as well as the color of scout's berets, while the dark red edge of the circle represents the color of paratrooper forces and their berets. The battalion motto is Latin: Spem retine – spes una hominem nec morte relinquit (Cato) – ("Keep hold of hope; hope alone does not desert a person even in death").
Combat Flag and Commemorative Ribbons
The 102nd Reconnaissance Battalion gained its Combat Flag on the 5 May 2005 on the occasion of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Commemorative Ribbons awarded to the 102nd Reconnaissance Battalion and designed to be displayed together with the Combat Flag:
Honorary name and patron
Honorary name was awarded to 102nd Reconnaissance Battalion in 2006 and since then the full name of the battalion has been the 102nd Reconnaissance Battalion of General Karel Palecek. General Karel Palecek, the patron of the 102nd Reconnaissance Battalion, was a Czech legionary, active military member during World War I and World War II, and the founder of the first Czechoslovak parachute units.