Training of BiH security and military services
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This month, the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, together with their colleagues from civil security services, have repeatedly demonstrated their ability and professionalism on the ground. The best indicators of the progress in this field were the civil-military exercise Joint Response in Rajlovac and the military exercise at Manjača.
Joint Response 2010 at Rajlovac
Organizers of the exercise that took place in Sarajevo were the BiH Ministry of Security in cooperation with the BiH Ministry of Defense, the OSCE Mission to BiH and NATO Headquarters in Sarajevo. This practical exercise consisted of two scenarios. The first one was a simulation of a hostage crisis and the rescuing of hostages, and the second one release of chemical agents among civilians in a closed space, as well as elimination of any consequences. Participants in this exercise were: State Investigation and Protection Agency, BiH Border Police, Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs, Institute for Nuclear Biological and Chemical (NBC) Protection, Brčko District services for protection and rescuing, Red Cross, supported by the NBC team from neighboring Croatia.
BiH MoD and Armed Forces of BiH have contributed in organization of this exercise through participation of their members in working group for preparation and implementation of the exercise, as well as through support in logistics and infrastructure.
During the exercise, Armed Forces of BiH exerted with their team for NBC detection and their air force team for medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) a high level of preparedness and aptness, both in independent fulfillment of tasks and in coordination with representatives of civil institutions. Numerous representatives of diplomatic and military corps, supervisory team from NATO and the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, representatives of international organizations, local institutions, and Željko Komšić, a member of BiH Presidency were present at the exercise.
The Armed Forces of BiH live fire exercise was held on September 20 at Manjača range near Banja Luka, as final activity of a training rotation. The purpose was to test the readiness of the 3rd Infantry Battalion of the 6th Infantry Brigade. Around 300 troops participated in the exercise in which infantry and artillery weapons were used. Air Force and support units participated in the exercise too.
The full training activity at Manjača was held from 13 to 20 September, and included a series of tactical activities: arrival at the gathering grounds, reception of an operation order from relevant command, realization of the decision-making process, move to the contact, planned defense, counter attack, tactical march and occupation of battalion’s fighting position for live firing.
On the final day of rotation, as a crown to successfully implemented exercise and testing of the unit’s professional readiness, all who were present could see the 6th Infantry Brigade Artillery shooting from 122-mm howitzers, APRA 122-mm multiple rocket launcher system and 120-mm mortars. The 3rd Infantry Battalion of the 6th Infantry Brigade used 90-mm hand-held rocket launcher RBR Osa, 64-mm Zolja, FAGOT PTK111, 60-mm mortars and infantry weapons, while air assault and MEDEVAC were carried out using Mil Mi-8 „Hip“ helicopter.
NATO and the OSCE Mission to BiH were present at these exercises and evaluated the BiH Armed Forces’ performance. NATO Headquarters Sarajevo spokesperson Derek Chappel expressed his satisfaction after successful completion of these activities.
“This challenging but realistic scenario tested the practical ability of civil and military agencies responsible for protecting all of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina to co-operate and co-ordinate their response, procedures, tactics and crisis management. We congratulate the agencies who participated in this exercise,” Chappel said. “In a world of globalised risk the best defense that a nation has against threats to its security is a professional and integrated security structure. The principle of collective security, nationally and internationally, has never been so important.”
Photo: NATO and BiHMoD