Exercise Quick Response 2 – will be held next month between 15 to 28 April and will demonstrate the ability of EUFOR to successfully activate, quickly deploy and integrate 2 of the 4 companies held at readiness within its Intermediate Reserves Forces. Additionally during the exercise phase the AF BiH will be positively engaged to further enhance their professional training and international interoperability. This will be conducted with the close co-operation and engagement of BiH’s Law Enforcement Agencies.
Commander of EUFOR Major General Dieter Heidecker said that in September 2012 the number of troops deployed in EUFOR the EU-led military operation ALTHEA was reduced. However, he said the public should be reassured that EUFOR retains the capability to support peace and security in BiH.
Heidecker added that at the same time, EUFOR has also been focusing its efforts on its mission to strengthen the BiH Armed Forces through a robust capacity building and training program. This is geared to ensure AF BiH continues to develop as a modern armed force at the level required for euro-atlantic integration and that its military personnel have the capacity and skill to deploy and positively contribute to international missions overseas.
Commander of EUFOR major general Dieter Heidecker said that even though the number of EUFOR troops permanently based in BiH has been reduced, the force has been restructured with over-the-horizon troops allowing a rapid surge in numbers, as and when needed. This mechanism makes use of rapid reaction troops stationed outside of the country but at an appropriate state of readiness to deploy to BiH should the need arise.
The exercise will involve the deployment of 2 light infantry companies: one from the UK and the other from Hungary. This deployment will result in an uplift of approximately 300 additional troops who will be present in BiH and under EUFOR’s control.
Spokesperson of EUFOR Gareth Jones explained the phases in which the military operation will go as followed: Phase 1 Activation commenced on 13 March and saw the activation of the United Kingdom and Hungarian Intermediate Reserve Forces, Phase 2 Deployment will commence on 15 April when the Intermediate Reserve Companies will depart from their home bases and arrive in BiH at Camp Butmir, which will act as the Forward Assembly area. This phase completes on 17 April. Phase 3A: Exercising (employment IR/MNBN) – The first part of the exercising/training phase will take place between 18 -20 April in the location of Camp Butmir, Sarajevo and nearby at Rajlovac barracks. Phase 3B: Exercising (employment including AF BiH) – The second part of the exercising and training phase will include a company and key elements of the AF BiH and commences on 20 April. This will take place at both in the Kalinovik and Pazarić areas and will include a display of combined military capability to distinguished visitors at Pazaric Barracks on 25 Apr 13. The exercise phase will complete on 27 April. Phase 4: Recovery- where troops from the Immediate Reserve begin to head home will commence on 28 April with all Intermediate Reserves expected to return to home bases by 9 May.