Exercises 2016/2017 Demonstrations of the Elite Serbian Units

Joint Exercise of the Police Forces of the R. of Serbia and R. of Srpska "Drina 2016"

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On August 28 in Loznica, at Trbushnica border crossing in the Republic of Serbia a complex tactical exercise of joint police forces of the Republic of Srpska and Republic of Serbia was realized. Exercise was participated around 200 specially trained operators, along with tactical use of several dozens of specialized service vehicles, five aircrafts and five vessels of various purposes.

The goal of the anti-terrorist exercise “Drina 2016” related on practicing joint action of the police forces of two republics in the case of a terrorist attack. Tactical suppositions of this complex exercise related on the attack and occupation of the border crossing and near terminal by the 17-member terrorist group, organized in several subgroups, in order to create fear and destabilization in the country.

In practice actions at border crossings or near state border are additionally compounded by the fact that near the venue of crisis is a foreign state territory, which can harden mechanisms of activation of response forces, in accordance with national and international laws. Therefore, it is of great importance for security systems of neighbor countries to maintain a good and regular professional cooperation, through right-time exchange of intel in the first place.
Terrorist using vehicles conducted quick and coordinated raids on the infrastructure of the border crossing and terminal and killed several officers on the occasion after a shorter exchange of fire. According to the scenario, one of the officers managed to escape and alarm security forces and inform them, among other things, terrorists are well organized and armed with automatic weaponry. Formed crisis-operational headquarters, after receiving needed approvals, and in accordance with the present legislations, brings a decision to activate special forces, in order to attain control over the infrastructure and area around the border crossing, as well to destroy the terrorist group.

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According the scenario, terrorists were armed with automatic weaponry and organized in several subgroups. Photo: specijalne-jedinice.com

The exercise was directly carried out by the operators of the Diving Unit and specialized units of the Gendarmerie, operators of the Special Anti-terrorist Unit-SAU of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia, as well operators of the Special Police Unit-SPU of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Srpska. Land forces were assisted by pilots of the Helicopter Unit of the MoI of the R. Serbia, as well Helicopter Service of the R. Srpska.

The first phase of the directed intervention on the field was realized using helicopters for reconnaissance and intel collecting which should have been transferred to the operational HQ, processed, and forwarded to the assault forces, respectively. From helicopters area was observed by sniping specialists, armed with bolt-action rifles Steyr SSG 04 A1 in .308 Winchester caliber, as well semi-auto SIG Sauer 716 in 7.62x51 mm NATO. Also, during the assault on terrorists, specialists were providing support to the land forces.

The raid on the occupied terminal began by using specialized combat vehicles, from two directions. The first group was consisted of five combat-armored vehicles M11 of the Yugoimport SDPR manufacturer from Serbia, as well as four “Hammers”. Mentioned group of vehicles had a task to advance, attain positions and engage terrorist, thus enable approach and disembark of the assault forces. Terrorist were engaged using combat machine gun stations installed on vehicles M11, whose effective range of fire is evaluated to 1500 meters for air targets, and 2000 meters for ground targets, while specialists in armored turrets of the “Hammers” engaged using automatic 30 mm grenade launchers Zastava M93, as well light machine guns Zastava M84 in 7.62x54 R caliber. With the support of the first group of the vehicles, air insertion by an alpine rope of five-member SAU group was carried out, out of the helicopter BELL 212 Twin, using “Dilfer” technique. After landing, the group had a task to converge with the rest of the ground forces and execute the attack. With the support of the first group of vehicles, as well as specialists from helicopters, the approach of the second group with the assault forces was carried out. In front of the terminal infrastructure positions took two vehicles M11, which crew capacity is 8 members, two multi-purpose vehicles Lazarus II, with crew capacity of 12 members, as well as two combat-armored vehicles M86 from which specialists of the SPU engaged using machine guns M84. During the approach to improvised terminal infrastructure a road obstacle overcoming was demonstrated as well.

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Disembarking of the assault forces. Photo: specijalne-jedinice.com

Assault forces were consisted of the anti-terrorist groups of the SPU and specialized units of the Gendarmerie. Using vehicles as a cover, as well smoke grenades for masking positions and movement, special forces operators synchronously approached improvised buildings and demonstrated excellent training in tactics when conducting actions in groups, or in coordination with multiple groups and teams.

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Operators of the SPU using the combat-armored vehicle as a cover while approaching improvised buildings. Photo: specijalne-jedinice.com

Behind the buildings in front of the river divers of the Diving Unit of the Serbian Gendarmerie along with sniping specialist took positions, with a task to assist ground forces and prevent eventual escape of the terrorist over the river. Divers were armed with German submachine guns HK MP5 SD3 with telescopic buttstock in 9 mm caliber. Mentioned models are a great choice because, among other, they are proven to operate well in water surroundings. Specialists were armed with semi-auto precision rifles Zastava M76 in 7.92x57 mm caliber. On the occasion, demonstrated was a usage of the K9 in order to prevent the escape and arrest of the suspect. Used was an attacking dog of the Belgian Shepherd Malinois breed, held in the Special Police Unit. In addition, several terrorist tried to escape over the river using a boat tied on a strand, but were quickly intercepted by the operators of the Diving-intervention Team of the Diving Unit of the Gendarmerie who were using quick rubber boats and the special purpose boat Premax 39, of the national producer Yugoimport SDPR, which was recently deployed to the unit. Armament of the operators of the intervention forces of the Gendarmerie consisted of the reliable carbines Colt M4 A4 Commando in 5.56 mm caliber, modified for the needs of close combat by mounting red dot sights Aimpoint CompM3, CAA FGA ergonomic assault grip with CAA TC1 tactical flashlight fitted.

For secondary operators chose semi-auto handguns Glock 17 Gen 3 in 9 mm caliber, placed in holsters BLACKHAWK! Serpa Tactical Level 2. Mentioned systems are also primary in use in the Diving Unit and specialized units of the Gendarmerie. For the needs of intervention operators wore two-piece black tactical uniforms Mile Dragic in Dragon Tactical cut, while the operators of the Special Police Unit wore black tactical overalls. Operators of the Gendarmerie wore ballistic vests of the Mile Dragic producer in black, while SPU operators wore models Top Universal, also in black, purchased from the same producer. Head protection was achieved wearing helmets Mile Dragic M05 and CGF Gallet S.A. Primary weapon of the SPU operators consisted of the assault rifles from the Zastava Arms manufacturer from Serbia, constructed over the Kalashnikov system. Those were models M70 AB2 in 7.62x39 mm, as well models M21 SBS in 5.56 mm caliber. For the needs of intervention models were adapted by mounting red-dot type of sights UTG Red Green Dot, as well as magnifying aiming devices UTG Accushot 1-4.5x28 30 mm CQB, as well holographic EOTech 552 on the upper Picatinny carriers purchased also from the UTG company. At both sides of the rifles ergonomic UTG hand pads could have been seen as well, while at front bottom side operators mounted angled foregrip accessory from UTG, while UTG telescopic buttstock were mounted instead of standard ones. Secondary weapon of the special forces operators from the Republic of Srpska also consisted of models Glock 17 Gen 3, placed in holsters Safariland.

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SAU ATG demonstrating breaching into an improvised building. Photo: specijalne-jedinice.com

After attack on terminal was completed and terrorist destroyed, attack on the occupied border crossing triggered, carried out by the operators of the Special Anti-terrorist Unit. Operators of the ATG demonstrated the attack on occupied buildings using specialized vehicles held in the unit as a cover, from which support specialists engaged terrorist positions. One ATG demonstrated breaching into an improvised barricaded object, and operators were armed with carbines Colt M4 A4 Commando in 5.56 mm caliber, adapted to the needs of close combat. According the exercise scenario several of terrorists tried to escape using a bus, so present viewers had a chance to see an interception of a vehicle on road, as well a dynamic breach.

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Interception and breaching into the hijacked bus. Photo: specijalne-jedinice.com

Firstly, one “Hammer” surpassed the bus and obstructed the road, so that a specialist in the second vehicle was able to blow the bus window using an explosive frame and ATG operators then vigorously stormed the bus using a breaching platform. Secondary armament of the operators also consisted of Austrian handguns Glock17 Gen3, and operators on the occasion wore black overalls GK Pro, ballistic vests also in black and helmets Ops Core FAST High Cut, also in black. Eye protection was achieved with ESS tactical goggles with tinted lenses. All the time assault forces were supported by a sniping specialist in the helicopter, armed with Steyr SSG 04 A1 precision rifle in .308 Winchester, who had a task to neutralize terrorists in the bus, if possible. After completion of breaching, a counter diversion inspection of the hijacked bus was undertaken resulting in detected improvised explosive device inside the bus. Specialists for explosives of the SAU using specialist gear carried out controlled transfer of the IED to a special chamber of the counter diversion “Hammer” which is being used for controlled detonations.

After successful completion of the tactical exercise parachute jumps of the operators were carried out who landed national flags of the Republic of Serbia and Republic of Srpska, as well as flags of the Special Anti-terrorist Unit, Gendarmerie and Special Police Unit. Afterwards, assemblage of the operators and used vehicles was organized, so present citizens had a chance to take photos with operators or familiarize with specialist gear and tools held in these units. Present state officials and commanders of the participating units expressed satisfaction by the level of operators` training, underlined a significance of the mutual cooperation when fighting organized crime and terrorism as its most hazardous form and agreed this joint exercise is one of the many confirmations of friendly relations between two republics.

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