Joint exercise of river units of Serbia and Hungary
Members of the First and the Second River Detachments of the River Fleet and the First Demining Regiment of the Hungarian Armed Forces have performed today on the Danube River, in the Banoshtor-Čerević-Čerevićka ada region, a tactical exercise called "Iron Cat 2017".
The axis of the exercise, led by the Commander Romeo Grbović, Commander of the First River Fleet Detachment, was planning, organizing and carrying out joint actions on water directed especially at the prevention of smuggling of people and trafficking in human beings and, in that sense, testing the achieved level of interoperability of the river units of the armies of the two neighbouring countries.
In four sequences and twenty-nine phases, the Serbian and Hungarian sailors were assigned to a joint detachment established for the purpose of the exercise, called "Danube". They demonstrated a set of predicted and prescribed procedures in controlling and blocking inland waterways, as well as possible actions in the unpredictable behaviour of smugglers.
Navy Captain Andrija Andrić, Commander of the River Fleet, Colonel Atila Churgo, Commander of the Hungarian Armed Forces First Demining Regiment and Colonel Goran Stamenković, head of the Training Division at the Army Command, monitored the exercise from the deck of the special purpose vessel „Kozara“.
- Members of the Serbian Armed Forces River Fleet, together with members of the Hungarian Armed Forces river units, performed very complicated tasks during the exercise, from a routine inspection of ships, preventing the departure of ships from the control zone, to combat actions against terrorist groups, which, as a theme, represents a qualitative upgrade of the cooperation so far, Navy Captain Andrić pointed out.
Assessing the exercise as very successful, Colonel Churgo said that the exercise showed that ship crews and a mixed command can successfully work together on safeguarding the borders.
- Nowadays it is very important to control the territory and borders that belong to our countries. Everything what we saw today convinced us that the members of the two armies can carry it out in real situations, as well, Colonel Churgo pointed out.
From the Serbian side, 149 officers, non-commissioned officers and professional soldiers took part in the exercise, as well as two multipurpose and one landing ship, auxiliary ship "Šabac", 4 inflatable boats and a river berth - from the composition of the First River Detachment and two river patrol vessels and special purpose vessel "Kozara" from the Second River Detachment. From the Hungarian side, 30 officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers took part in the exercise with two river minesweepers which, for this occasion, arrived from the base in Budapest. Performing the tasks of reconnaissance, the exercise was supported by crew of the "gazelle" helicopter from the 204th Aviation Brigade.
The first joint exercise of the River Fleet and the First Demining Regiment of the Hungarian Armed Forces under the name "Iron Cat" was carried out in 2011 at the Titel-based training site on the Tisa River. After that, it was conducted under the same name, in Varpalot, on the Danube River in Hungary, in 2012. In the following years, the exercise was held alternately in Serbia and Hungary each year, and its contents consisted of joint ship artillery firings. This year's seventh edition of the exercise, with topical theme, with further strengthening of confidence, was aimed at sharing valuable experiences in the application of tactics, techniques and procedures in countering smugglers.