Sarajevo International Airport participated again this year in the “Quick Response 2019” exercise, which simulated the action of suppressing protests at the airport, the action of neutralizing the explosive device, that is, checking and removing abandoned – dangerous luggage, and assisting the injured.
In the early hours of Thursday 10 October, as part of Exercise Quick Response 19, EUFOR troops demonstrated their ability to secure Sarajevo International Airport and deal with a range of threats to the Safe and Secure Environment. After commercial flying had ceased for the day, the Multinational Battalion in conjunction with LEAsquickly moved into the airport, setting upcheckpoints and securing key infrastructure.
At the airport, Maj Probst of EUFOR said, “Cooperation between EUFOR, the LEAs and the Airport Authority has been excellent. Working shoulder-to-shoulder with our Bosnian counterparts, we have demonstrated the ability to rapidly secure and protect Sarajevo Airport. Maintenance of key national infrastructure is vital to maintaining the Safe And Secure Environment, doing so with such great cooperation fills me with hope for the future”.
The scenario at Sarajevo airport is only one of the challenges EUFOR’s soldiers are facing as part of Quick Response 19. With Austrian, Bulgarian, Greek, Romanian, UK and KFOR troopsreinforcing EUFOR, concurrent scenarios are running all over BiH. Each of these scenarios sees EUFOR troops working closely with LEAs, BiH Government Agencies and Independent Organizations in places such as Banja Luka, Mostar, Čapljina, Manjača and Trebinje.
Quick Response is the longstanding annual test of EUFOR’s capability to rapidly reinforce its troops in BiH with part of its reserve forces which are held at high-readiness in partner nations.
Running from Oct.7-11, the exercise will take place in cities of Trebinje, Bileca and Capljina demonstrating that the citizens of BiH can be assured of EUFOR’s and agencies joined and combined commitment to ensure safe environment.
EUFOR Operation Althea is currently made up of soldiers from 20 nations. Its primary role is to support BiH efforts to maintain a safe and secure environment, whilst providing support to the overall European Union comprehensive strategy for BiH.