Multinational Command Post Exercise Viking 18 commences
By opening of a distributed site in the Republic of Serbia, the multinational computer-assisted command-post exercise VIKING 18 has commenced in the Banjica 2 barracks in Belgrade, today. The aim of the exercise is to train and educate participants (military, police and civilian organisations) to meet the challenges of current and future multi-dimensional crisis response and peace operations.
Opening the distributed site in the Center for Simulations and Distance Learning, the officer responsible for planning the exercise and Acting Chief of the Training and Doctrine Department, Colonel Boško Zorić, expressed satisfaction that, after lengthy and extensive preparations, the exercise has commenced, organized by the Armed Forces of the Kingdom of Sweden, and in cooperation with the United States Armed Forces, as the support country.
- It is for the second time that the Republic of Serbia arranges a distributed site. This is a three-level exercise; it is multinational and multifunctional. Its concept supports planning and conducting a multinational peacekeeping operation in an unstable environment, based on a comprehensive approach, focusing on cooperation and coordination between all relevant actors in the area of operation, within their responsibilities and in line with the mandate of the UN mission - Colonel Zorić said, welcoming on behalf of members of the Serbian Armed Forces the members of the armed forces of the United States, Sweden, Austria, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Moldova and representatives of international and local organizations.
The exercise planning officer pointed out that the joint work should achieve the objectives of the exercise to include the improvement of the capabilities of the command of the multinational brigade, civilian organizations and the police for staff work and the command and control of forces in the multinational operations environment, the improvement of cooperation and interoperability between partners and regional military-to-military and civil-military cooperation, as well as the promotion of understanding, trust and cooperation among regional countries, participants in the exercise, international organizations, non-governmental and government national organizations.
Colonel Mičo Branković, Exercise Director and Head of the Center for Simulations and Distance Learning that is marking eight years of existence, today, presented the scenario and main events and reminded that this is the largest distributed command post exercise organised in the world, with participation of representatives of 61 countries.
- The main site is in Sweden and it is also performed at distributed sites in Serbia, Bulgaria, Ireland, Finland and, for the first time this year, in Brazil. This year, the total number of participants in the world is three thousand, while in our country, 108 members of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces, 40 members of the foreign armed forces and 57 members of the police, governmental and non-governmental organizations took part - Colonel Mičo Branković said .
The exercise Viking 18, which is to last until 26th April, is one of the largest international exercises where the Serbian Armed Forces has participated so far.