Exercises 2013/2014 Demonstrations of the Elite Serbian Units

Joint Exercise of the CTU and SPU
"Drina 2013"


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Posted in column: Tactical Exercises Photo: TROE Production

In mid-October 2013, at Lake Perucac (Serb. Perućac), located in the southwest region of the Republic of Serbia, near the border with the Republic of Srpska, within the block of hydroelectric power plant Bajina Basta, a joint tactical exercise „Drina2013“ was conducted.

Participants were operators of the Counter Terrorist Unit (Serb. Protivteroristička jedinica) of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia, and officers of the Special Police Unit (Serb. Specijalna jedinica policije) of the MoI of the Republic of Srpska.The scenario of the joint tactical exercise „Drina2013“ related to the prevention of emerging harmful consequences of the terrorist attacks on the buildings of special importance, in concrete, taking of the complex of hydropower plant by armed terrorist group, and joint action of the police officers of two elite police units.

Joint exercise of the two Serbian units is one of many confirmations of good and intense cooperation and friendly relations through years, and its practical significance is to intensify cooperation between regional security systems, for a more efficient response to the dangerous security threats nowadays.

Based on data gathered through field work, it was discovered that an organized terrorist group has taken positions in the area of Bajina Basta, intending to take possession of the hydroelectric power plant complex. The terrorists are armed with automatic weapon and their plan is to flood the area around plant by raising the dam and then to destroy objects of the plant by placing and charging explosives. The first phase of the joint intervention of the security forces began with insertion by air in the outer area of the plant, carried out by paratroopers. Paratroopers had a task to collect intell that will Crisis HQ will implement in the realisation of the second phase, where assault groups of the CTU and SPU will take action in order to destroy terrorist group and take back the entire power plant.

Parachute Group of the Counter Terrorist Unit is specially organized, trained and equipped in order to execute tasks within the purpose of the CTU. It can be effectively used in counter terrorist actions, but also in tasks of supplying the troops from air, as well as in rescue missions in hard to reach terrain.
The successful landing of the paratroopers was previosly enabled by intervention of the local police from Police Station in the city of Uzice (Serb. Užice), who conducted road blocking in the wider area around the plant.

Joint diving groups of the CTU and SPU were organized upstream of the plant, in the region of Radjenovic (Serb. Rađenović), with a task to approach to the objects of the plant, neutralize terrorist who performed reconnaissance on nearby objects, provide support to the assault groups while attacking, and to prevent eventual escape of the terrorist by water. The primary weapon of the divers consisted of reliable submachine guns HK MP5 A3 and HK MP5 SD3 with integrated suppressor, both in 9x19 mm Parabellum/Luger.

Sniper groups of the CTU and SPU have taken positions on both sides of the plant. Specialists were armed with long-range precision rifles Sako TRG42 in .338 Lapua Magnum with bolt action system, as well as Stery Elite Tactical in the same caliber, also with BA system. After final preparations of the assault groups, a coordinated attack action undergo.


Operators using combat armed vehicles as cover while storming the dam. Photo: TROE Production

Anti-terrorst groups of the both units simultaneously stormed the wall of the dam, with the support of combat armed vehicles that also provided cover for operators while advancing. Short bursts of light machine guns Zastava M84 mounted to the CAV M86, specialized for the needs of the SPU, as well as one mounted to CTU`s HUMVEE, disrupted terrorist to organize defence and enabled fast advancing of the special forces. Operators of the Special Police Unit wore black two-piece intervention uniforms of the manufacturer Mile Dragic in Tactical One cut, as well as those in camouflage pattern Multicam, of the same producer. For primary operators of the SPU chose compact submachine guns Scorpion EVO-3 A1 in 9x19 mm Parabellum/Luger which are equipped with red dot sights in standard configuration.


Reliable weaponry of the operators of SPU (left) and CTU. Photo: TROE Production

Also, some operators were armed with assault rifles Zastava M70 ABX Black Thorn in 7.62x39 mm with holo sights of the EOTech, as well as vertical handgrips. Secondary weaponry consisted of the handguns Glock17 Gen3 in 9x19 mm Parabellum/Luger. Operators of the Counter Terrorist Unit wore two-pieced camouflage uniforms Tactical One of the Mile Dragic manufacturer. Their primary were carbines Colt M4 A4 Commando in 5.56x45 mm NATO modified with reflex sights Aimpoint CompM3. Having in mind specific conditions in which intervention was carried out, the Griffins selected US carbines on this occasion, primarily because of their low weight as well as their compact size[1]. Assault groups were reinforced with attacking K9s.

A small group of the terrorist that held the dam`s passage tried to escape over the lake using a boat, but were intercepted by diving groups of the CTU and SPU.

After operators on the top of the dam obtained full control of the area, the next phase of the attack began.


Due to high level of training operators of the CTU used various techniques to insert quickly and safely. Photo: TROE Production

A group of the operators of the CTU carried out fast rope insertion by helicopter, followed with lowering to the bottom of the dam using alpine rope and merging with previously organized assault groups of the SPU and CTU, to conduct joint assault into the main building of the complex in order to destroy remained terrorist and prevent them to release the accumulated water in the lake in a dangerous modus.

The assault was carried out with the support of the specialized vehicles, as well as helicopter. Green smoke signalled the successful completion of the attack, all terrorist were overwhelmed and the entire power plant was under the control of the Serbian special forces. Soon after a counter diversion inspection of the plant was conducted.

Counter Diversion Group of the Counter Terrorist Unit arrived to the place of crisis in specially modified HUMVEE that is equipped with a special trailer that is intended for destroying explosives and explosive devices and can hold the explosion of 7 kilos of TNT. Upon arrival, specialists conducted detailed inspection of the objects and founded an unexploded ordnance device which was taken and moved with mechanical hydraulic robot. Technicians, equipped with special demining suits, placed the EOD in special tube, intended for transport of the explosive materials and devices. Through inspection K9 trackers were used as well, Belgian Shepherds “Malinois”.

The joint exercise “Drina2013” at the Lake Perucac was attended by Ministers of Interiors and Police Directors of both countries, as other state officials. Ministers emphasized the importance of intensifying cooperation in the domain of fighting terrorism and organized crime, as well as strengthening friendly relations of two countries as well as of two elite units for special purposes.

[1] Compactness of the weapon is also contributed by telescopic stock that can be adjusted to four lengths.

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