Regional Initiative, Not NATO Exercise
Answering the question of the press whether the exercises in which Serbia participates with NATO change our position regarding military neutrality, Minister Vulin stated that it should primarily be explained to our public that the exercise about which the media had reported in previous several days, “REGEX 18” was not a NATO exercise but a regional initiative that had been existing since 2013.
- Until now, that regional initiative was carried out in Turkey, B&H, Greece, Jordan and the next year it is going to take place here. It is a Command and Staff exercise to be supported by certain computer simulations, which are the exercises that were previously conducted in the territory of our country. The first such exercise was executed in 2010. This is not a NATO exercise, but a regional initiative and nothing else – stressed Minister Vulin.
According to his words, Serbia is a neutral country, and we will conduct exercise will all that we could learn something from;with NATO, with CSTO, we will exercise bilaterally with the US Armed Forces, we will exercise bilaterally with the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and we will work with everybody that we can learn something from.
-As long as AleksandarVučić is the President of the state and Supreme Commander, and as long as I am the minister of defence, Serbia will not join NATO. I do not know what will happen, once AleksandarVučićis no longer the Supreme Commander, and when he is no longer the President of the Republic; maybe some other people will come who think otherwise, but as long as he is the Supreme Commander we will not join NATO; just to avoid any dilemma and doubt – Minister Vulinstressed.
Exercise REGEX 18 is the result and continuation of military cooperation of several countries in the framework of a regional initiative launched back in 2013 and is being conducted with expert and partial financial support of the Joint Forces Command in Naples in accordance with NATO standards adopted by all member states of the European Union as well. Eachparticipatingcountry bears the costs of participation for its own personnel.
The first exercise in the framework of the regional initiative (REGEX – Regional exercise) was held in 2014 in Turkey and it involved the participation of five officers of the Serbian Armed Forces. The nest exercise REGEX-15 was carried out in Greece with the participation of four officers of the Serbian Armed Forces, while in 2016 the exercise was conducted in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the participation of five staff officers and one Military Police platoon of Serbian Armed Forces. This year the exercise took place in Jordan with the participation of four staff officers of Serbian Armed Forces.
The next year, in 2018, the exercise REGEX-18 is going to be held in Serbia. According to the plans it is going to be a command and staff exercise supported by computer simulations covering the topic “Work of a multinational brigade command in multinational operations”. So far the participation has been confirmed by 12 states members of Mediterranean Dialogue, Partnership for Peace and NATO.
We particularly point out thatREGEX-18 is not the first international exercise that will be conducted in Serbia in line with NATO standards. Previously, the exercises VIKING-14 and LOGEX-15 were organised as well as one segment of the exercise COMBINED ENDEAVOUR 2011.