VIКING 18 exercise, The Distinguished Visitors day

Tuesday, 24.4.2018 | Training

The Distinguished Visitors day has been held today in the Simulation Training Centre in the “Banjica 2” barracks within the multinational computer assisted exercise VIКING 18.

Aleksandar Vulin, the Minister of Defence, General Ljubisa Dikovic, the Chief of Serbian Armed Forces, with members of the extended collegiums, the Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, Ambassador Andreo Orici and other distinguished guests attended the presentation of exercise.

It is the largest command-staff distributed exercise and 61 countries took part. The exercise is organized by the Kingdom of Sweden where is the main command post located and also run on six remote exercise sites in Kingdom of Sweden, Serbia, Bulgaria, Ireland, Finland and for the first time in Brazil this year, in Brazil.

Serbia hosts the exercise for the second time where representatives of 85 organizations and more than 3,000 participants are taking part. Apart from 108 members of MoD and SAF, there are 40 foreign officers participating and 57 members of police, Governmental and Non-governmental organizations in the remote site Serbia.

Aleksandar Vulin, the Minister of Defence, emphasised today that VIKING 18 is the largest global exercise since a couple of thousands participants are taking part in the exercise and it is held in Remote Site Serbia for the second time.

-Serbian Armed Forces can be satisfied with the achieved level of training of our soldiers and officers as well as with the level of readiness and the ability to respond to every task and every assignment at the highest level. All our guests, and there are representatives of the armed forces from the United States, Sweden, Austria, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia, can confirm that cooperation with our armed forces is very useful and that we are able to teach the representatives of other armed forces especially since we have significant experience when it comes to managing crisis and aassistance during humanitarian catastrophes. We have proved this since the refugee crisis in the 1990s, as well as working with migrants during the migrant crisis in our region, when we did everything in the most human and effective way - Minister Vulin said.

He added that we can show it now, and "the ability to prepare our boys and girls for participation in peacekeeping missions all over the world" is of great importance and inters for us.

-The Serbian Armed Forces are currently participating in nine international peacekeeping  missions, five under the UN mandate and four under the EU mandate. Also, this is yet another proof of the good policy of the military neutrality of our state, because, as you can see, we can train with everyone and learn from everyone, but also transfer our knowledge to anyone who wants to learn from us - said is the Minister of Defense.

Colonel Boško Zoric, VIKING 18 exercise scheduling officer, pointed out that this is a very important activity that significantly improves the level of training of Serbian Armed Forces.

-That is how we achieved our first goal in this exercise, which is to improve the ability of our officers to take part in headquarters and multinational commands. Secondly, the goal is to train, together with our colleagues from the Ministry of Interior, but also from governmental and non-governmental organizations, with whom we would work together in the area of operation, and thirdly, our goal is to improve, by working together and training, mutual trust between our armed forces and, therefore, between our countries.

Colonel Zorić emphasized that Serbian young officers and NCOs, managed to enhance the simulation software using their knowledge and capabilities.

-Today the Serbian Armed Forces perform exercises that even much more developed armed forces than ours cannot perform. I am very pleased with the behavior of all members, I noticed exceptional knowledge, expertise and professionalism, and above all, a friendly relationship between the members of our armed forces and partner countries at the exercise, " said the VIKING 18 exercise scheduling officer.

Serbian Red Cross President Dragan Radovanovic stressed out that this organization, as part of the civil sector, is a support exercise element and, as such, has close cooperation with the Ministry of Defense and the Serbian Armed Forces in various programs and participates in a large number of exercises.

-In these exercises, the main task of the Red Cross is the protection of civilians in armed conflicts, the establishment of family ties, the search service and, in particular, the emphasis on the protection of children.

The Distinguished Visitors had a tour of the exercise site. The representatives of some exercise elements informed them about the work of the Simulation Training Centre and the guests were also shown a screen with the so-called "joint operational image", which is seen only by the key exercise personnel, showing the distribution of all units at certain points, the deployment of enemy forces, civilian organizations, internally displaced persons and centers in the area of operations.

The activities of civil organizations, their current tasks, and the engagement and coordination of activities with the military component in the area of operation were also presented to the guests.

The VIKING 18 exercise takes place from April 16 to 26.

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