Several hundred participants successfully completed the military exercise “NICS Mostar 2021”, at several locations in Mostar.
Members of the Ministry of Security and the Ministry of Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), infantry and helicopter support of the Armed Forces of BiH (AFBiH), Helicopter Service of the Republika Srpska (RS) entity, Civil Protection Services of the Federation of BiH (FBiH) and RS entities, Herzegovina-Neretva Canton (HNC), the City of Mostar, as well as public safety department of the Brcko District, the Professional Fire Brigade Mostar, voluntary fire brigades, the Mostar Police Administration, and the protection and rescue services were the participants.
The aim of the exercise was to train rescue services and exchange information with the AFBiH during assistance to civilian structures, responding to natural or other disasters, as well as testing and possibility of using NATO’s advanced regional disaster coordination system that facilitates real-time disaster response time. The Minister of Security of BiH, Selmo Cikotic, emphasized the interdependence and togetherness that characterizes the exercise, saying that no one in it can ensure security as an individual.
”All elements are connected into a single system. It is togetherness and the need to help each other in moments when one of the actors is affected or threatened. This exercise integrated NATO’s presence in BiH. It is a system that has also integrated a large number of people who exchange different types of information, data, and messages in complex field conditions. This has been prepared for months. NICS is a system that comprehensively unites in complex conditions, showing the ability of people who are members of all groups to respond to situations. Improvements are constantly expected, ” Cikotic stated.
The Brigadier of the NATO Headquarters in Sarajevo, Eric Folkestad, noted that he was extremely honored to attend the mentioned exercise, looking forward to watching the command system in action in BiH. He also reminded that with the help of NATO, the system was installed in three more Balkan countries.
“Over six million euros have been invested in BiH so far to develop an incident command system. With NICS it is possibleto integrate entities and commanders at the local level with those at higher levels. I would like to say that the system is useful and I use the opportunity to congratulate everyone,” told Folkestad.