On November 19, 2020, a complex joint tactical exercise Hoop 2020 was carried out in Belgrade, attended by the highest state officials, demonstrating tactics of the joint police forces, responding to a crisis at night – terrorist attack in public with multiple casualties.


A detail from the exercise. : specijalne-jedinice.com

A total of 254 men of Special Anti-terrorist Unit (SAU), Gendarmerie, Helicopter Unit, Intervention Unit 92, Belgrade Police Department and Fire and Rescue Unit, carried out the exercise in which a total of 28 various vehicles, 5 helicopters and 2 combat boats were engaged.

Bearing in mind the needs of the media and audience, the exercise dynamic was divided into several phases, with meticulous comments from the Police Colonel Vladan Mirković.

We had a privilege to be present during the preparations for the upcoming demonstration and make some attractive photos for you. Considering the fact you can easily find the exercise scenario on numerous web portals, we won`t bother you by repeating those details, but will comment the demonstrated activities from a slightly different point of view.


A detail from the SAU climbing group preparations. : specijalne-jedinice.com

Namely, this exercise was planned and organized during the period of increased terrorist activities throughout the European Union states, when Union and Balkan countries face the migrant crisis as a specific security threat.

Specific for the Hoop 2020 exercise was the fact that night operating tactics of the ground forces, insertion forces and various rotorcrafts, had been presented publicly and in this scope.

This is definitely a positive circumstance, therefore should be a practice in the future as well, requiring a more intensive equipping of these units with specialist gear for night operating.

Following the operators through the three-day preparations, it was clear to see that none of the boys spared themselves during practice, not even in the case of rain, which can, in combination with night environment, be a pretty aggravating circumstance, especially for the forces carrying out the so-called third-dimension actions, vertical breaches and the like. In regard to this, it is important to notice that no serious injuries had occurred among the operators by the end of the exercise, proving their status and high ability to operate in all environments.

Many, deliberately or not, fail to mention while criticizing others` tactics, that these demonstrations are primarily for public, and as such often include modified tactics, either for the media – to ease filming, either for the viewers – to meet attractiveness. In the case of the Hoop 2020 exercise, it should be pointed out that lighting was primarily set in order to ease filming for the present media. In other words, it was utterly unnecessary for the operating specialists. Very few noted a wider use of the 7.62 mm rifle systems[1]. The reason to this was of a theatric nature, because of dramatic and realistic contribution of their specific sounds and volume during fire, even with blanks.


The Gendarmerie specialists armed with SIG 516s in 5.56 mm. : specijalne-jedinice.com

However, not even the intense shooting and pyrotechnics could have overcome the roar of the several bursts of the M134 D Gatling Mini Gun in 7.62×51 mm NATO[2]. Moreover, many of the tactics, such as premises dynamic breach, room clearing, bus dynamic assault etc., were modified to meet the attractiveness, or slowed down, to aid lenses and cameras to capture easier. Even with the aforementioned, the demonstration has been carried out smoothly, effectively and successfully.


The fire support specialists during preparations. : specijalne-jedinice.com

As for the novelties presented, thanks to the investments in equipment and training, operators of the Helicopter Unit demonstrated significantly improved operational capacities, while it was a sheer pleasure to spot high-end DTNVG-14 binoculars, produced by ACTinBlack, mounted on Gendarmerie and SAU specialists` helmets. The display involving the Superdroid Mastiff special crawler robot, in co-action with the drone, showing a video from an integrated thermal camera, was also appealing. With these tactical actions the tactical demonstration came to its successful end.

[1] As for the 5.56 mm rifles, SIG 516 systems in various models were mostly used, with Aimpoint PRO red dots, tactical lights in FAB PLA-1 adapters and other accessories mounted.
[2] SAU specialists was providing fire support to the ground breaching teams, using this machine gun from a turret of 4×4 multi-purposed combat armored vehicle Miloš.

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