“EUFOR troops have been deployed right across BiH over the last week on Exercise Quick Response 2020 as part of Operation Althea. Considering the challenges that a global pandemic has brought this year, the deployment of a Multinational Battalion together with over-the-horizon troops demonstrates our absolute commitment. Our commitment is to the safe and secure environment in BiH and we commit to continue to work with our close partners within the AFBiH and the Law Enforcement Agencies of the country. Our true resolve has been validated by the fact that we have successfully conducted Exercise Quick Response 2020 safely under such challenging circumstances,” Commander EUFOR Major General Trischak stated.
What EUFOR troops have demonstrated here today and throughout this week is their professional ability to work together in difficult situations to fulfill the EUFOR mandate. Cooperation and collaboration have been the foundations to the success of this Exercise and absolutely proves that EUFOR functions well, whatever the situation.
Exercise Quick Response 2020 uses its own LOT Houses for this kind of training to simulate possible evacuation from Embassy’s or other designated official buildings. All 3 of the mobile Multinational Companies have been tested with a variation of this scenariro to ensure the integration training has been successful.
Backup on this occasion came from the Austrian Company and once on the scene, secured the area with crowd and riot controll techniques. The simulated ritoting action looked and sounding like the real thing but the Austrians were clearly up to the task. Once dispersed, they moved in and arrested the leaders with skill and precision.
“On the third day of Exercise Quick Response 2020, A Coy 3 PARA, as part of the Multinational Battalion were tasked to rapidly deploy to support an EUFOR Local Observation Team (LOT) House in Jablanica. This required a strong and rapid deployment over a long distance of the majority of the Company group, transported in protected mobility Foxhound vehicles.
The situation was a complex one with the Company needing to disperse demonstrators, deal with an improvised explosive device, and assist the LOT House personnel to evacuate.
It was an excellent, highly visible and thoroughly credible example of a coordinated response using British, Hungarian and Turkish troops. Local Police also vital in ensuring a safe outcome to the situation.
Day 3 of EUFOR’s Exercise Quick Response saw all of the deployed Company’s complete the delicate negotiation piece coupled with the more kinetic activity of dispersing and arresting aggressive, armed protestors. The challenges today made harder with the addition of dealing with Improvised Explosive Devices.
At Sarajevo International Airport, a major complex incident involving hostage negotiation, Explosive Ordnance Disposal and the retaking of a live airliner needed the EUFOR Hungarian Company who were yesterday in Ustikolina, to secure the perimeter.
Expert teams from SIPA, BiH Law Enforcement Agencies and bomb disposal synchronised like clockwork to bring everything under control under the watchful gaze of a room full of BiH Ministers, EUFOR Commanders and Sarajevo International Airport Crisis Staff.
Early morning in Visegrad a simulated protest quickly turned into bottles and smoke grenades being thrown at Hungarian EUFOR troops after the Slovakian EUFOR soldiers living in the community called the Multinational Battalion for help to clear the situation and move the roadblock. The heated situation resulted in a simulated casualty requiring on the spot treatment and testing medical evacuation by helicopter. Commander EUFOR Major General Trischak witnessed the performance of his soldiers first hand.
At the same time EUFOR troops from the United Kingdom conducted reconnaissance missions, then driving into a road block and demonstration requiring the deployment of a Quick Reaction Platoon in full anti-riot gear and a Company Headquarters to deal with a noisy and unruly crowd throwing smoke grenades and missiles.
The Austrian company deployed in support of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina (AFBiH) to secure a Weapons and Ammunition Storage, enabling AFBiH to dedicate more resources to fictional disaster relief operations. Patrolling, vehicle, person and area check peaked in arrests and the activation of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team after simulated anti-tank and anti-personnel mines were found.