Successfully completed BARS 2019 exercise

Saturday, 2.11.2019 | Training
Pilots of the Serbian Air Force and Air Defence and their counterparts from the Russian Aerospace Forces have successfully conducted a joint flight-tactical exercise BARS 2019. The fifth joint exercise, held in Russia and abbreviated as the Brotherhood of Airmen of Russia and Serbia, was marked by exceptional training level, good communication and a spirit of friendship between Serbian and Russian pilots.
Participants in the exercise were awarded medals for successful participation in the exercise, upon the order of Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation, General of the Army Sergei Shoigu.
Colonel Brane Krnjajić, Commander of the 204th Air Brigade, who led the group of pilots of the Serbian Armed Forces, said that he was very pleased with what was demonstrated, especially emphasising the demonstrated skills as well as great motivation of the members of the two armies.
- We have completed all the tasks that were agreed at the planning conference and during the preparations, and we believe that we have significantly enhanced our cooperation and qualification level, which testifies to the progress of the exercise, but is also a reason more to continue in the same direction, Colonel Krnjajić pointed out.
Expressing his satisfaction at the successful completion of the complex tasks, Colonel Alexey Vladimirovich Rotko, Chief of the 185th Centre for combat training and combat use of Russian Airspace Forces, evaluated the exercise with high mark.
- The night actions were extremely demanding. All the goals set were accomplished and the crews justified the trust, but also improved their knowledge and experience, in conditions close to the war, Colonel Rotko said, particularly emphasising his satisfaction with the very good cooperation among the mixed crew members.
A kind of a host to the members of the Serbian Armed Forces, a representative of the command of the Russian Airspace Force, Colonel Konstantin Surikov, thanked all participants for respecting security measures, particularly to the technical staff who prepared the aircraft and equipment well and enabled the successful execution of all tasks.
The Deputy Commander of the 890th Mixed Helicopter Squadron, Major Bojan Trkulja has been participating in the BARS exercise for the first time, but he has plenty of experience working with his Russian counterparts, as he has spent six months on advanced training in Russia this year.
- This is cooperation with friends. I really see a serious step forward in training, first of all, because the Russian colleagues are trying to present their capabilities and point out ways to improve the level of performance of tasks – Major Trkulja says, particularly emphasising the great importance of night flying within the exercise, which included many complex tasks and elements of flight, starting from navigation flying, off-airport take-off and landing, to action from non-guided missiles and cannons, all that during one flight.
This year's exercise was conducted on the theme “Preparation and realisation of combat actions during the execution of the tasks of preventing the escalation of an armed conflict at the state border and conducting search and rescue actions”.
According to the exercise scenario, the armed conflict began at the state border. Exercise leadership assigned the commander of the mixed aviation group the task to localise the conflict.
After detailed preparations, MiG-29 pilots and Mi-8 helicopters, in mixed crews, accomplished complex flight tasks including live firing and night-time flying.
Fighter aircraft effectively intercepted the air targets, while the task of the helicopter units was to neutralise the enemy's manpower in order to prepare the landing space as well as landing of airborne units and search and rescue support.

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