President and Supreme Commander Vučić: Armed Forces Are Ready, Capable and Trained to Defend Our Country, I Am Proud of Our Soldiers

Saturday, 10.10.2020 | Training
President of the Republic and the Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces Aleksandar Vučić, attended today the live-fire joint tactical exercise “Joint Action 2020“ at the “Pešter“ provisional training ground. The exercise was also attended by the Prime Minister of Serbia Ana Brnabić, Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin, Minister of Internal Affairs Nebojša Stefanović, Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Rasim Ljajić, Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, General Milan Mojsilović, and the Director of Security Information Agency Bratislav Gašić. Today’s exercise was also attended by the Serbian member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik and the President of Republika Srpska Željka Cvijanović.

President and Supreme Commander Vučić first thanked the soldiers, NCOs, and officers and congratulated all members of the Ministry of Defence, the Minister of Defence, the Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, and all those who prepared this exercise for days. He pointed out that "we were not able to perform such an exercise even in the time of the great Yugoslav People's Army" in many details.

— You saw a helicopter landing in a small area together with the landing of our parachute troops, as well as two lines of tanks performing live firing over each other. These are some of the things we have never done, neither have we fired air-to-surface missiles from fighters MiG-29 aircraft. You saw "Pantsirs" and Pasars fire for the first time. There were a lot of weapons and vehicles here today that people could not even see before — said President Vučić and added that he is extremely proud of our soldiers.

According to him, a squadron of various multi-role helicopters used for the transport of our soldiers was shown, but these helicopters are armed now, for the first time.

— We have armed all aircraft with air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles and guns. The tankmen did a great job, the infantry disembarked from the combat vehicles at incredible speed, as did the members of the Special Forces from helicopters. They showed exceptional readiness, dexterity and competence and that they are well equipped, but we still lack some things — said the President of Serbia.

President and Supreme Commander Vučić pointed out that this is a “different image of the military“.

— These are good armed forces, armed forces that are prepared, capable and trained to defend our country if anyone tries to carry out aggression against it. We are strengthening our armed forces in order to discourage any aggressors from attacking us. We do not want or even consider coming into any aggressive conflicts — President Aleksandar Vučić emphasized and said that everyone who loves Serbia feels proud today.

Answering reporters’ questions, President Vučić said that our people and all our citizens deserve the credit for the exercise that the citizens could see today.

— The Serbian Armed Forces equally belong to Serbs, Bosniaks, Hungarians, Romanians, Slovaks, Rusyns, Croats, Roma and everyone else, regardless of their nationality and religion. These are their armed forces that helped when it was the most difficult, during the Covid-19 epidemic. These are armed forces that will defend their homes and will never endanger them. I want everybody to know that - the President of Serbia pointed out.

Asked whether today's exercise can be seen as a message to the Bosniak population living on Pešter, President Vučić reiterated that he only has one message, that the Serbian Armed Forces belong to all citizens of our country and that there are no hidden messages in the exercise.

— These are their armed forces. This is their country. These are their hearths and homes. No one will touch them, they will be defended if anyone ever thinks of attacking them. Nothing is directed against Bosniaks. This belongs to Bosniaks as much as it belongs to Hungarians and every other inhabitant of our country. Every normal person, every Bosniak rejoices in the success of their country and knows that it will be easier and better for them as well — said President Vučić.

The Serbian member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik, emphasized that “the great ability shown by the Serbian Armed Forces shows that Serbia can successfully defend its statehood and sovereignty" and he congratulated President Vučić on his efforts to modernize the military and to show in this way that Serbia is deeply committed to establishing regional peace, but it is also ready to defend its territory."

The Commander of the Air Force and Air Defence, Major General Duško Žarković, presented President Vučić with a model MiG-29 airplane, and the Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin with a model Mi-35 helicopter. The Chief of the General Staff, General Milan Mojsilović, presented the Serbian member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Milorad Dodik with a model M-84 tank.

About 2,800 members of the Serbian Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence, more than 150 combat and non-combat vehicles and systems and about 40 aircraft participated in the exercise "Joint Action 2020". Among them are a large number of modernized assets and assets developed by the Serbian defence industry, which were engaged jointly for the first time in one such exercise.


The scenario of exercise "Joint Action 2020" is as follows: through coordinated activities, enemy armed forces have performed an armed attack and temporarily occupied a part of the Serbian territory with two battle groups that are waiting for the arrival of new troops to reinforce them.

Serbian Armed Forces jointly performed an offensive operation in order to expel the enemy forces, protect the local population and establish peace and stability.

The exercise started with the action of the Air Defence artillery-missile units whose objective was to destroy the spotted enemy aircraft, achieve air supremacy and create favourable conditions for the joint forces to carry out an offensive operation. The Air Defence PASARS and PANTSIR artillery batteries and one missile section were engaged in the execution of the task, while the upgraded Giraffe radar performed air surveillance and target acquisition.

After achieving air supremacy, in the second part of the exercise, reconnaissance of enemy dispositions was first carried out by CH-92 UAVs, Vrabac (Sparrow) and AP 100-C drones.

The battle group set out to execute the task, with an armoured reconnaissance company in a BRDM-2MS armoured reconnaissance vehicle providing security at the front. The company's surveillance group performed reconnaissance using the MIP-3 multisensor reconnaissance platforms on the BOV KIV combat vehicle. There were also two sniper pairs equipped with ghillie camouflage suits.

The third part of the exercise showed the action of a MiG-29 and the fight in which fighter aircraft engaged in a dogfight. MiG-29 aircraft also provided fighter cover to the bomber-fighter striking force in order to create conditions for the execution of battlefield air interdiction.

Enemy targets were engaged by several groups of bomber-fighters, modernized EAGLES armed with guns, missiles and lethal bombing weapons.

The fourth part of the exercise was characterised by the artillery-missile support of the fire team which consisted of the 155mm "NORA-B52" self-propelled gun-howitzer artillery battery, the 122mm GVOZDIKA self-propelled howitzer artillery battery, a reinforced battery of upgraded and digitized 128 mm M-17 OGANJ self-propelled multiple rocket launchers, the MORAVA multiple rocket launcher, the OGANj M-18 modular multiple rocket launcher and a 120 mm mortar platoon.

Given the diversity of calibres of the artillery-missile weapons that engage targets, for the synchronization of simultaneous action, portable artillery fire control observation devices are used ​​and universal portable artillery-computer stations, which perform ballistic computation and send the results to digital control consoles for each individual weapon.

In the last three years, more than 20 different types of artillery weapons and equipment have been introduced into the armament of the Serbian Armed Forces, which has created the basis for a significant improvement of artillery capabilities.

In the fifth part of the exercise, combat aviation and attack helicopters were engaged.

For the first time in 20 years, the MiG-29 engaged ground targets with S-8 missiles. MiGs can engage ground targets with a wide range of weapons: unguided air-to-surface missiles, different calibre bombs and a 30 mm gun.

After MiG-29s, a group of Super Galeb G-4 aircraft engaged enemy targets. The aircraft came in sweeping flight at the altitudes of up to 100 m, using the terrain configuration to avoid enemy air defence.

Then, attack helicopters followed. First, the Mi-35 attack helicopters armed with ATAKA radio guided anti-tank missiles conducted a raid, engaging ground targets. Next, Mi-17V5 helicopters armed with unguided S-8 missiles fired, followed by a covert approach and action of GAMA helicopters.

In the sixth part of the exercise, the modernized M80 AB-1 infantry combat vehicle, the POLO М-83 anti-tank launcher, the LAZAR-3 armoured wheeled vehicle, the modernized M-84 AS-1 tank and the M-84 tank were engaged.

During the attack, the modernized missile system KUB provided protection to the battle group against air attacks, and the combat vehicle PANTSIR was engaged to provide air defence to the battle group, parachute and helicopter landing against sudden reconnaissance and air attacks.

The seventh part of the exercise started with a special parachute landing performed by a group of 30 paratroopers from the 63rd Parachute Brigade jumping from an An-26 aircraft from an altitude of 3,000 meters, in one flight, with the task of destroying the remaining enemy forces.

In order to create conditions for the helicopter landing, the troops of the 72nd Special Operations Brigade arrived in three columns of MILOŠ armoured combat vehicles. Synchronized and simultaneous action of Special Forces against the enemy created favourable conditions for carrying out the helicopter landing.

A group of Mi-17, Mi-8, Mi-35 and X-145 helicopters came next in a vertical manoeuvre in which members of the 72nd Special Operations Brigade and the 63rd Parachute Brigade were transported in order to neutralize the remaining enemy groups. Two remotely controlled MALI MILOŠ unmanned platforms were also unloaded from the helicopter.

Special Forces teams were equipped in accordance with the 1500 project, which includes 26 different types of state-of-the-art weapons and equipment.

The exercise ended with a demo jump by members of the 63rd Parachute Brigade with the flags of the Republic of Serbia and the Serbian Armed Forces. The demo jump was performed by Sergeant Major First Class Radmila Đurić and Sergeant Major Milan Svetozarević.

The joint tactical exercise "Joint Action 2020" presented a part of the capabilities of the units of the Serbian Armed Forces to conduct joint forces operations. The ability of some of the Serbian Armed Forces’ units to perform air and air defence operations and provide air support was demonstrated, as well as the offensive operations of Army units and the landing of special forces.

Related News