On 3 April 2020, Austrian and Hungarian members of Headquarters of EUFOR’s Multinational Battalion, took part in a live firing exercise, at the firing range located near Pazarić. This exercise was part of a regular programme of activities designed to ensure the maintenance of soldiers’ military skill set.
Preparations began on 31 March 2020 with weapons drill training, in less favourable snowy weather conditions. Like many complex activities, weapons handling and shoot are perishable skills, so it is important for the soldiers to refresh skills and all important muscle memory, prior to stepping onto the range. Even experienced soldiers are required to undertake these drills; this is all part of the safety measures employed to ensure the exercise runs smoothly.
During the exercise soldiers fired a range of weapons, including AK-47 and StG 77 rifles and 9mm pistols, at varying distances. After each firing, the soldiers inspected the targets to check their accuracy.
Safety is a key aspect of any range shoot. The safety measures in place were called into action when safety guards around the firing range observed civilians walking towards the shooting area. The exercise was stopped immediately and weapons made safe. Once the attention of the civilians was alerted to the danger the civilians turned around, safety was secured again and the live fire exercise was continued.
All the soldiers fulfilled the requirements and expectations of the Commander of the Multinational Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Steingresz, who oversaw the exercise.
“It shows again, that a solid preparation leads to a smooth execution. Especially for a live fire exercise a safe handling of the weapons is the most important value. Once this is secured the day becomes more relaxed,” he said.