On the afternoon of Sunday the 6 October the opening ceremony for exercise Quick Response 19 was held at Camp Butmir, Sarajevo. 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. It is a large scale exercise demonstrating the EU’s resolve and commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
At the opening ceremony the troops who are taking part in the exercise were addressed by the Commander of EUFOR, Major General Reinhard Trischak, who said “EUFOR maintains a military footprint in BiH which can be rapidly expanded in both size and strength to address any challenge towards the Safe and Secure Environment. Quick Response Exercises test the mechanisms to rapidly activate and integrate our reserves with our in-theatre troops. The fact that we have on parade the Intermediate Reserve Forces from the United Kingdom and Austria, demonstrates that this process works.”
Major General Trischak also paid tribute to the excellent relationships EUFOR has with the Armed Forces BiH, BiH Law Enforcement Agencies and the respective ministries, publicly thanking the State, RS and FBiH authorities for the cooperation EUFOR received throughout the planning process.
In attendance at the event were many members of State Level organisations and International Embassies as well as high ranking representatives from the Armed Forces BiH and Law Enforcement Agencies.
The EUFOR reserve troops which have arrived from Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, the United Kingdom joined their comrades from EUFOR’s Multinational Battalion on parade before heading off to locations all over BiH for the exercise, which will occur between the 7-11 October.
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 EU comprehensive strategy for BiH.