On August 28 in Loznica, at Trbušnica 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 carried out. Exercise was participated by around 200 specially trained operators, along with tactical use of several dozens of specialized service vehicles, five aircrafts and five vessels of different purposes.


The SPU operators advancing and using the CAV as cover. : specijalne-jedinice.com

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

In practice, actions at border crossings or near the state border are additionally complex through the fact that near the crisis venue is the foreign state territory, which can complicate the activation of the security forces, in accordance with national and international law. Therefore, it is of great importance for security systems of neighboring countries to maintain a good and regular professional cooperation, through real-time intel exchange, in the first place.

The terrorist had carried out quick and coordinated raids on the infrastructure of the border crossing and terminal using vehicles, and killed several officers on the occasion, after a shorter exchange of fire. According to the scenario, one of the officers had managed to escape, alarmed security forces and informed them, among others, that terrorists are well organized and armed with automatic firearms. Formed crisis-operational headquarters, after receiving needed approvals, and in accordance with the present legislations, had brought a decision to activate special forces, in order to attain control over the infrastructure and area around the border crossing, as well as to destroy the terrorist group.

The exercise was directly carried out by the operators of the Diving Unit and specialist units of the Gendarmerie, operators of the Special Anti-terrorist Unit (SAU) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Serbia, as well as operators of the Special Police Unit (SPU) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Srpska. Ground forces were assisted by the pilots of the Helicopter Unit of the MoIA of Serbia, along with the Helicopter Service of Srpska.

The first phase of the fictional field intervention was carried out using helicopters for reconnaissance and intel collecting which should have been conveyed to the operational HQ, processed, and forwarded to the assault forces, respectively. The area has been scoped by sniping specialists from the helicopters, armed with Steyr SSG 04 A1 bolt-action rifles in .308 Winchester caliber, as well semi-auto SIG 716 in 7.62×51 mm NATO. Also, during the assault on terrorists, specialists have been providing support to the ground forces.

The raid on the occupied terminal began by using specialized combat vehicles, from two directions. The first group consisted of five combat-armored vehicles M11 produced by the Yugoimport SDPR company from Serbia, as well as four HUMMERs. The mentioned group of vehicles was tasked to advance, attain positions and engage terrorist, thus enable the approach and disembark of the assault forces. Terrorist were engaged using combat machine gun stations installed on the M11 vehicles, which effective range of fire is evaluated to 1500 meters for aerial targets, and 2000 meters for ground targets, while specialists in armored turrets of the HUMMERs engaged using automatic 30 mm grenade launchers Zastava M93, as well light machine guns Zastava M84 in 7.62×54 R caliber. With the support of the first group of the vehicles, air insertion of five-member SAU group was carried out, out of the helicopter BELL 212 Twin, using alpine ropes and “Dilfer” technique. After landing, the group was tasked 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 the specialists from the helicopters, the approach of the second group with the assault forces was carried out. Two M11 vehicles, with crew capacity of 8, took positions in front of the terminal infrastructure, along with two multi-purpose vehicles Lazarus II, with crew capacity of 12, as well as two combat-armored vehicles M86 ,from which SPU specialists engaged using the M84 machine guns. During the advance on the improvised terminal infrastructure, a road barricade overcoming was demonstrated as well.


Disembark of the assault forces. : specijalne-jedinice.com

The assault forces consisted of the SPU anti-terrorist groups and specialized units of the Gendarmerie. Using vehicles as cover, as well smoke grenades for masking positions and movement, special forces operators synchronously approached to the improvised buildings and demonstrated a superb expertise in group operating tactics, including the coordination of multiple groups and teams.

Behind the buildings in front of the river, divers of the Diving Unit of the Serbian Gendarmerie and marksmen took positions, tasked to assist the ground forces and prevent eventual escape of the terrorist by the river. The divers were armed with German submachine guns HK MP5 SD3 in 9 mm caliber. The mentioned models are a great choice because, among others, they are proven to operate well in water environment. The specialists were armed with the Zastava M76 semi-auto precision rifles in 7.92×57 mm caliber. On the occasion, the use of the K9 was demonstrated, in order to prevent the escape and aid arrest of the suspect. Attack K9 of the Belgian Shepherd Malinois breed was used, held at the Special Police Unit. In addition, several terrorist tried to escape by the river, using a boat tied on a strand, but were quickly intercepted by the operators of the Diving-intervention Team of the Gendarmerie Diving Unit, who were using fast rubber boats and the special-purpose boat Premax 39, manufactured by Yugoimport SDPR, which has recently been deployed to the unit. The armament of the operators of the Gendarmerie intervention forces consisted of the reliable Colt M4 A4 Commando carbines in 5.56 mm caliber, modified for the needs of CQB by mounting red dot sights Aimpoint CompM3, CAA FGA ergonomic assault grips with CAA TC1 tactical flashlights fitted.

For their secondary, the operators chose semi-auto Glock 17 Gen 3 handguns in 9 mm caliber, holstered in BLACKHAWK! Serpa Tactical Level 3. The mentioned systems are also primary in use at the Diving Unit and specialist Gendarmerie units. For the needs of intervention, operators wore two-piece black Mile Dragić tactical uniforms, in Dragon Tactical cut, while the operators of the Special Police Unit wore black tactical overalls. Gendarmerie operators wore ballistic vests from Mile Dragić in black, while SPU operators wore models Top Universal, also in black, purchased from the same producer. Head protection was achieved with helmets Mile Dragić M05 and CGF Gallet S.A. The primary 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 7.62×39 mm, as well M21 SBS models in 5.56 mm caliber. For the needs of intervention, models were modified by mounting UTG Red Green Dot sights, magnifying aiming devices UTG Accushot 1-4.5×28 30 mm CQB, as well holographic EOTech 552, onto the upper Picatinny carriers purchased also from UTG. Ergonomic UTG hand pads could have been seen on both profiles of the handguards as well, while at front bottom side operators mounted angled foregrip accessory from UTG, with UTG telescopic buttstock mounted instead of the standard ones. The secondary weapon of the special forces operators from the Republic of Srpska also consisted of Glock 17 Gen 3 models, holstered in Safariland products.


The SAU ATG demonstrating a building breach. : specijalne-jedinice.com

With the terminal attack had been completed and terrorist destroyed, the attack on the occupied border crossing started, carried out by the operators of the Special Anti-terrorist Unit. ATG operators demonstrated the attack on occupied infrastructure using specialized vehicles used at the unit as cover, from which support specialists engaged the terrorist positions. One ATG demonstrated a breach into the improvised barricaded premise, while the operators were armed with the Colt M4 A4 Commando carbines in 5.56 mm caliber, modified for CQB. According to the exercise scenario, several terrorists had tried to escape using a bus, so the present viewers had a chance to watch an interception of a vehicle on road, along with a dynamic breach.

Firstly, one HUMMER surpassed the bus and obstructed the road, so that the specialist in the second vehicle was able to blow the bus window using an explosive frame with a detonating stick, with ATG operators vigorously storming the bus using a breaching platform. The secondary of the operators also consisted of Austrian Glock17 Gen3 handguns, with operators wearing the black GK Pro overalls, ballistic vests also in black and Ops Core FAST High Cut helmets, also in black. Eye protection was achieved with ESS tactical goggles with tinted lenses. The assault forces were supported by the sniping specialist in the helicopter all the time, armed with Steyr SSG 04 A1 precision rifle in .308 Winchester, tasked to neutralize terrorists in the bus, if possible. After the breaching completion, counter diversion inspection of the hijacked bus was undertaken, resulting in detected improvised explosive device on the bus. SAU EOD specialists carried out the controlled transfer of the IED, using the specialist gear, to a special chamber of the counter diversion HUMMER which is being used for controlled detonations.


A line-up detail, after the completion of the exercise. : specijalne-jedinice.com

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

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