International Flight-Tactical Exercise “BARS 2018”

Thursday, 4.10.2018 | International Co-operation

The International Flight-Tactical Exercise “BARS 2018”, in which participate the members of the SAF Air Force and Air Defence and their colleagues from Air and Cosmic Forces of the Russian Federation, is taking place at the air field Batajnica.

Before the start of today’s flight activities at the airfield Batajnica, the exercise leader, Commander of the 204thAir Brigade, Brigadier General ŽeljkoBilić, underlined that it was an exercise which traditionally bore the name “The Brotherhood of Airmen of Russia and Serbia”.

- The exercise has gained in its significance, which year after year becomes a tradition in this area. Namely, this is the fourth year in a row that the exercise is organised together with the Air and Cosmic Forces of the Russian Federation - stressed General Bilić.

Speaking about the exercise, he pointed out that the aircraft form AF and AD of the Serbian Armed Forces were used in the Exercised, namely MiG 29 fighter (the one seat and two seats versions) and helicopter Mi 17, the latest helicopter in our armament, and he also underlined that particularly important for the exercise was the fact that the crews in the aircraft were mixed.

- The complexity of the tasks of the exercise is reflected in the fact that the exercise includes members of the Special Brigade of the Serbian Armed Forces apart from the members of the air forces of the Russian Federation and Serbia. When the exercise is conducted in the territory of the Russian Federation, their special forces are also involved - stressed General Bilić. 

The exercise leader General Bilić, also emphasised that the exercise was executed in the air space of the Republic of Serbia, on different locations.

- In previous four days of the exercise, we practised search and rescue, exercised air space control and protection, airlift, airborne assault, evacuation of injured and their transport to medical installations. Also, today, in the airspace above the airfield Batajnica, the participants executed an air fighting, simple and complex pilotage, and they practised engagement of ground targets in the territory of Čenta - General Bilić explained.

He added that because of its mixed character, the exercise provided an opportunity for transfer and exchange of experience and knowledge among the crews of the two countries. 

Deputy exercise leader, Lieutenant Colonel Konstantin Surikov, said that it had been the second execution of the exercise in Serbia, and that the goal of the exercise was not the training but preparation and execution of joint tasks by mixed crews.

- Already prepared pilots participate in this exercise, both from Serbian and Russian side. The flight-tactical exercise implies the highest level of a pilot’s combat readiness and during the exercise the pilots exercise the most complex tasks such as search and rescue, air combat and engagement of ground targets. Furthermore, the aim is to practice the communication among the crews - Colonel Surikov stressed.

According to him, up till that moment the exercise was successful, and he assessed that the crews did good job executing their tasks.Following the flight demonstrated to the visitors of today’s exercise, a pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Dejan Beda, Assistant Operations Commander of the 204th Air Brigade, underlined that the goal of today’s exercise was to exercise airspace control and protection by mixed crews thus developing operational capabilities of our forces and our interoperability.  

He added that in that day’s segment, they demonstrated an air combat simulation of an attack against a single target, and of the attack against ground targets at small altitudes.

Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Kilias, who was a part of the same crew, pointed out that during the flight very good training and preparation had been demonstrated, and that he was assigned to control the task execution.

Major Goran Gajić, a helicopter pilot, assessed that the experiences gained during the exercise were precious both for the Russian and the pilots of the Serbian Armed Forces, since, depending of the country in which the exercise was executed, they learnt the procedures of the other side which they used in their aviation, and his colleague, Lieutenant Colonel Alexey Lepkin stated that they gained friends during the exercise.

This has been the fourth time that the exercise “BARS” is conducted alternately in the Russian Federation and the Republic of Serbia. This year’s exercise started on 1stOctober by signing a Technical Agreement at the airfield Batajnica and it is going to last until 6thOctober.

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