Exercises 2013/2014 Demonstrations of the Elite Serbian Units

Tactical Exercise of the Serbian Gendarmerie
"Ada 2013"

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Posted in column: Tactical Exercises Photo: Tanjug

To mark the saint patron’s day and 153 since establishing, on the 27th of June 2013 a complex tactical exercise of the Serbian Gendarmerie was organized at Sava`s Lake in Belgrade. The exercise was carried out with the assistance of the Helicopter Unit of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia, and it was attended by state leaders and officials from region, as well as by vast number of citizens.

Before exercise execution experience paratroopers performed HAHO jumps, police Lieutenant Colonel Vojkan Ivanovic with over 1080 jumps, Major Dejan Nikolic with over 800, Senior Sargent Branko Radisavljevic with 750 jumps, Sergant Milan Cvijic with 850 and Milan Pejovic with 750 jumps. These jumps were successfully conducted from a BEL 212 helicopter at about 1500 meters.

The scenario of the tactical exercise “Ada2013” related to kidnaping and taking as hostage an unknown person by armed criminal group.

On 24th of June in Belgrade in the afternoon at resort Kosutnjak an unknown person was abducted by armed criminal group. On that occasion a police officer, who was on duty on the scene of crime and tried to prevent it, was heavily wounded in gunfire.

Having discovered committed crime, officers at Directorate of the Criminalistics Police (Serb. Uprava kriminalističke policije) and Intelligence Department of the Command of the Serbian Gendarmerie begin field work in order to gather intell and find out that the abducted person is the citizen of the Republic of Serbia and for his release the kidnappers request money ransom. The next day, by field work position of the kidnappers was located at area of Sava`s Lake. Also, it was discovered that criminal group consists of four members with firearms. Organized tactical operational headquarters within the negotiations decide to execute a controlled deliver of the requested money with kidnappers, take a hostage and arrest and try arresting all kidnappers.

On the 27th of June, operators of 2nd Detachment of the Gendarmerie, with the assistance of police officers of the Police Station Chukarica (Serb. Čukarica) and the River Police, conducted road blocking of wider area of the river Sava, along the coast of Ada Ciganlija. Delivery of money will conduct small group of operators in disguise, with a task to approach the object[1] in which kidnappers held a hostage by using a rubber boat, establish contact with kidnappers and hand over the money. The negotiations collapsed when kidnappers took the money and opened fire at operators, killing one, heavily wounding other, and taking other as a hostage. A new attempt to contact the kidnappers was organized soon after this, when a group of fully equipped and armed police officers with the support of the combat-armed vehicle M 86 used as a cover, asked of kidnappers to hand over wounded operator for medical intervention.

A new attempt of the negotiators to establish contact with kidnappers also failed. Photo: Tanjug

On this occasion one of the kidnappers tried to destroy specialized vehicle of the Serbian Gendarmerie with hand rocket launcher M 80 “Zolja”, but was neutralized in time by sniper specialist who had previously taken a position on the top of building near the coast. Primary weapon of the specialist was long-range precision rifle Steyr Tactical Elite with bolt action system in .308 Winchester, with KAHLES optic sight. In the tower at the shore of the lake organized crisis headquarters now makes a decision to, with the approval of the Police Directorate (Serb. Direkcija policije) activate specialists teams of the Gendarmerie to release hostages, arrest or destroy all kidnappers and to return the money that was meant for ransom. Action was conducted by operators of the Belgrade Specialist Company of the Gendarmerie, as well as operators of the First Diving Center of the Gendarmerie, with the assistance of Helicopter Unit of the MoI.

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In the close area around the object on water, sniper groups took positions at tops of the buildings with tasks to reconnaissance positions and movement of the kidnappers, as well as to provide support to the assault groups. Air support was provided by activating resources of the Helicopter Unit. From BEL 212 heli specialist engaged kidnappers with light machine gun Zastava M 84 in 7.62x54 R mounted inside the heli. In the water zone around the object diving groups were organized, armed with submachine guns HK MP5 A3 in 9x19 mm Parabellum/Luger with task to prevent eventual escape of the kidnappers by water and to assist assault teams while storming the building. Also, a rescue group was in standby, to extract persons from water eventually.

The attack began by approaching of the assault groups using fast rubber patrol boats Zodiac 730, which are used in the First Diving Center of the Gendarmerie. In order to achieve advantage over kidnappers, the attack was conducted simultaneously from western and eastern side of the object, while fast unloading and grouping of the operators was carried out under the protection of smoke grenades thrown in front of the object.

Synchronization of actions of the assault groups was of great importance in order to achieve advantage while conducting the attack. Photo: Army Info

Primary weapon of the operators of the anti-terrorist groups-ATG consisted of compact carbines Colt M4 A4 Commando in 5.56x45 mm NATO, which were modified for the close quarters battle by mounting red dot sights Aimpoint CompM3, CAA FGA ergonomic assault grips with CAA TC1 tactical flashlights fitted. For secondary, semi-automatic handguns Glock 17 Gen3 in 9x19 mm Parabellum/Luger were chosen, which are also main models used in the Unit for Counter Terrorist Actions (Serb. Jedinica za protivteroristička dejstva) of the Serbian Gendarmerie. Ballistic protection of the operators was achieved with ballistic helmets Mile Dragic M 05S of the national manufacturer, in MICH[2] design, as well as with ballistic vests in black color of the same manufacturer, while leaders of the ATGs carried individual ballistic tactical shields with ballistic visors, also from the national manufacturer. Assault groups were reinforced with K9 dogs, German and Belgian shepherds and Rottweilers, used as attackers.

With the support of the specialist in air and after short exchange of fire, operators of the assault groups of the Gendarmerie successfully completed the raid, freeing hostages and arresting or destroying all kidnappers. After the entire object was taken under control, medical stuff arrived and provided first aid to the wounded, while the identity of hostages double-checked and confirmed.[3],

Commander of the Serbian Gendarmerie, Police General Bratislav Dikic, congratulated the operators for successful realization of the exercise and underlined that Serbian Gendarmerie, since its establishment until today responsibly and professionally carry out all tasks within its jurisdiction and therefore presents a strong and reliable element in the security of the Republic of Serbia

[1] For the needs of this exercise on water surface, in the immediate vicinity of the coast, a floating platform was constructed, which carried the object where, within the exercise scenario, kidnappers and hostages were present.
[2] Engl. Modular Integrated Communications Helmet.
[3] By this possibility that suspects merge with hostages and thus avoid arrest is decreased.

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