Among the eight victims of yesterday’s helicopter crash in Sinai, Egypt, was Czech Sergeant Michaela Tichá, who served in multinational forces operating in the area. President Miloš Zeman expressed his condolences to the bereaved. The body of the deceased soldier will be brought home today by a special military flight. A ceremony will take place at the Kbely Airport in Prague.
The 27-year-old sergeant major is the first Czech woman ever to die on a foreign mission.
“We lost one of our own, Sergeant Michaela Tichá. I’m so sorry. Some things just can’t be prepared for. My sincere condolences to the family,“ the army quoted Chief of General Staff Aleš Opata on Twitter.
Ztratili jsme jednoho z nás, rotmistryni Michaelu Tichou. Je mně to moc líto. Na některé věci se prostě nedá nikdy připravit. Upřímnou soustrast rodině. Generál Aleš Opata. pic.twitter.com/Ru8Vzmegli
— Armáda ČR (@ArmadaCR) November 12, 2020
Also on Twitter, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš responded to the event: “Our country lost Sergeant Michael Tichá while fulfilling her duties on a mission in the Sinai Peninsula. Sincere condolences to the family. Let us be proud of the work of our army.“
According to the Times of Israel, the helicopter was carrying international peacekeepers. Six Americans, a Frenchman, and a Czech were on board. The peace observers were taking part in a mission in Sinai to monitor compliance with the Israel-Egypt peace agreement. The accident of the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter was caused by a technical malfunction.
An MFO (Multinational Force and Observers) mission operating in Sinai was established in 1981, two years after the signing of the Israel-Egypt peace agreement, which provides for international oversight.
Czechs have been operating in Sinai since 2009
The mission is responsible for monitoring compliance with the security conditions of this document, and Czechs have been participating in the effort since 2009; 13 served there last year. At that time, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš visited them on his way to the summit of the European Union and the League of Arab States.
Originally, the founder of the MFO was to be the U.N., but because the U.N. Security Council was threatened with a veto by the Soviet Union, the U.S., Israel and Egypt negotiated the establishment of the mission.
Title image: An Arizona National Guard Black Hawk helicopter takes off to deliver medical supplies to the remote Navajo Nation town of Kayenta due to the coronavirus Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)