On 10-11 June 2020, Lieutenant General Olivier Rittimann, the EU Operation Commander for Operation EUFOR Althea, visited Camp Butmir to gain first-hand situational awareness of the current situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which will be vital in informing the decision of whether to proceed with Exercise Quick Response 20. This visit comes ahead of the Final Coordination Conference next week.
Lieutenant General Rittimann was accompanied by his successor, Major General Brice Houdet, who will take over as EU Operation Commander for Operation EUFOR Althea on promotion in July this year.
Major General Trischak said: “Today’s visit shows the level of importance placed on the upcoming Exercise Quick Response 20 this summer. It has afforded an excellent opportunity for the Operation Commander to fully understand the capabilities EUFOR has at its disposal and the challenges of operating within the limitations COVID-19 presents.”
Planning for this year’s exercise has continued in spite of the difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. These challenges have been overcome in order to replace face-to-face meetings and conferences with VTCs. This year the planning process has included the additional element of ensuring that the exercise can be conducted in a safe manner for those involved and for the local communities around the exercise areas across the country.
Quick Response 20 is a pan-European, scheduled to take place in late August and early September 2020. This annual exercise is designed to test of EUFOR’s operational capability, deploying ‘over the horizon’ reserve forces, and the effectiveness of contingency plans to ensure EUFOR’s ability to fulfil its mandate under UN Security Council Resolution 2496 (2019) at all times.