On Thursday the 10 October, as part of Exercise Quick Response 2019, EUFOR troops, in conjunction with units from the RS gendarmerie, SIPA, Border Police and the RS Ministry of the Interior anti-terrorist unit demonstrated their ability to secure Banja Luka International Airport and deal with a range of threats to the Safe and Secure Environment.
The Commander of EUFOR, Major General Reinhard Trischak, was accompanied by the Operation Commander, Lieutenant General Olivier Rittimann, EU Special Representative Johann Sattler as well as members of the State Crisis Team including the Minister of Security, Dragan Mektić, as they observed the troops and security providers deal with the three scenarios set up by the training team.
After EUFOR troops from the Austrian High Mountain Infantry Battalion 23 had dispersed a violent protest on the entrance road to the airport, SIPA and the antiterrorist unit moved in to deal with a hostage situation before the EUFOR team dealt with a bomb that the Border Police dog team found.
Major General Trischak stated how impressed he was with how all parties dealt with the situation and was particularly pleased at the excellent cooperation he saw between the different units.
This exercise at Banja Luka airport is only one of the challenges EUFOR’s soldiers are having to face as part of Quick Response 19. With a part of EUFOR’s reserve in attendance from Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and the United Kingdom there are enough troops to run concurrent exercises are all over BiH, with EUFOR troops working closely with BiH agencies in locations such as Sarajevo, Mostar, Čapljina, Manjača and Trebinje
Quick Response is the longstanding annual test of EUFOR’s capability to rapidly reinforce its troops in BiH with part of its reserve forces which are held at high-readiness in partner nations. Taking place between the 7-11 October, Quick Response 19 is a large scale exercise demonstrating the EU’s resolve and commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina.