'DEFENCE OF FREEDOM' has shown the strength of Serbia
Serbian President and Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces, Aleksandar Vučić, assessed today's demonstration as 'very good'.
The demonstration of capabilities of the Serbian Armed Forces and the Ministry of Interior 'DEFENCE OF FREEDOM', on the occasion of Victory Day, was held in Niš today.
Serbian President and Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces, Aleksandar Vučić, assessed today's demonstration as 'very good'.
- Officers, non-commissioned officers, soldiers, members of the Ministry of Interior, thank you very much for this magnificent day. In an impressive way, we marked the Victory Day, the day of victory over Fascism, and once again demonstrated how we pay debt to those who created freedom. Serbia is a free country and will not allow anyone to endanger its freedom. You make us proud, you are the pride of Serbia, and I assess your work, efforts, diligence, equipment and training with – very good! – President Vučić said and ended his speech with the exclamation – Long live Serbia!
The demonstration of capabilities 'DEFENCE OF FREEDOM' was attended by President of the Republic of Serbia and Supreme Commander of the Serbian Armed Forces, Aleksandar Vučić; President of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Milorad Dodik; Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Maja Gojković; President of Republika Srpska, Željka Cvijanović; Minister of National Defence of the Hellenic Republic, Evangelos Apostolakis; Chairman of the International Affairs Committee of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Konstantin Kosachev; a delegation of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation led by Deputy Commander of the Western Military District, Lieutenant General Igor Seritsky; Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, Nebojsa Stefanović; Chief of General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, General Milan Mojsilović; members of the Government, representatives of religious communities, military diplomatic corps, institutions, guests from abroad and numerous citizens of Niš and its surroundings.
The demonstration involved more than 4,000 soldiers and policemen, about 300 combat and non-combat vehicles and systems and about 40 aircraft, and it was preceded by several-day preparations and drills.
Army Commander, Lieutenant General Milosav Simović, was responsible for planning, organising and execution of the demonstration, the demonstartion commander was Brigadier General Vladeta Baltić, Deputy Army Commander, while Gendarmerie Commander, Police Colonel Dejan Luković, was responsible for the Ministry of Interior.
Welcoming those present, General Simović pointed out that the participants in the demonstration 'Defence of Freedom' were descendants of famous ancestors, warriors who always defended their own property, respected that of the others and were the unbreakable pillar of Serbian statehood and freedom.
- Today, Serbian soldiers and policemen are moving forward with the same spirit of fightingness and heroism, victory and glory, just as their ancestors did, fully committed to military and police vocations – General Simović emphasised.
The show began with a demonstration jump of members of the 63rd Parachute Battalion of the Special Brigade from helicopter HT-40, from altitude of 2,000 meters, and the flag of the Republic of Serbia was carried by Master Sergeant Vladimir Kržalic, a skydiving instructor first class.
Command of the demonstration commander: “Parade - March Forward!” announced the performance of infantry, motorised and aircraft echelons, comprised of members of the Serbian Armed Forces, the Ministry of Interior, military and police veterans, and there was a display of a part of equipment and materiel of the Serbian Armed Forces and the Ministry of Interior.
The infantry echelon included the units of the Serbian Armed Forces equipped according to the projects '1500' and '1500+', as well as special and separate units of the MoI equipped with state-of-the-art arms and equipment. The projects relate to the equipping of special, anti-terrorist, reconnaissance and military police units with state-of-the-art weapons and equipment for performing the most complex tasks in the defence of the Republic of Serbia.
The infantry echelon was made up of members of the Army, the Military Police units, the Special Brigade, the Guard, the Military Academy, the Special Anti-Terrorist Unit, the Gendarmerie, the Police Brigade, the Sector for Emergency Management, military veterans and veterans of the Serbian MoI. Commander of the infantry echelon was Brigadier General Slađan Stamenković, commander of the 3rd Army Brigade.
At today's demonstration, one could see the sub-echelon of war flags of the units of the Armed Forces, carried by cadets of the first and second year of the Military Academy, among which there are 100 flags of war units, including 50 regimental flags from the World War I, 25 flags from the World War II and flags of units that participated in combat operations during the NATO aggression.
What distinguishes this year's show in Niš from the previous ones is the performance of the veterans' sub-echelons. These are military veterans who participated in the wars in the territory of the former Yugoslavia and during the NATO aggression against Yugoslavia, led by Brigadier General retired Žarko Lazarević, as well as veterans of the MoI who participated in counter-terrorism actions in the area of the Autonomous Province Kosovo and Metohija and the country's defence against the 1999 NATO aggression, led by retired police colonel Dragan Simić, former Commander of the Niš Gendarmerie detachment.
In the framework of today's demonstration, the flags of 37th motorised brigade, 125th motorised brigade, 549th motorised brigade, 63rd parachute brigade, 126th AEW&C brigade and 250th AD missile brigade that were decorated with the Order of National Hero for outstanding merits in defending against the NATO aggression, could be seen in front of the podium, as well as the flags of the Ministry of Interior and the units that participated in the demonstration.
Those gathered at the Niš boulevard had the opportunity to see the future of our military and police, cadets of the youngest class of the Basic Police Training Centre in Sremska Kamenica and sub-echelon of cadets of the Military Academy composed of cadets of the final years of the Military Academy and the MMA Medical Faculty.
Then there came sub-echelon of the Gendarmerie, followed by sub-echelon of the MoI horsemen, who are part of the Special Battalion of the Police Brigade.
The parade included members of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Army brigades, armed with modern weapons and equipment for day and night activities. They are armed with M-21 5.56 mm rifles of domestic production, with modern telecommunication means using real-time transmission of information between the elements of the combat formation, and the MD-12 protective vests.
Then followed march-past of members of the 3rd and 5th Military Police battalions, who are specially equipped and trained to carry out military-police missions and tasks.
The 72nd Reconnaissance-Commando Battalion of the Special Brigade, whose members are armed with Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifles, the so-called SCAR, performed as well, and within the Project 1500, they are equipped with new sets of protective ballistic equipment manufactured by 'Yumko' Vranje. Then there came Counter-Terrorism Battalion armed with SCAR rifles and GLOCK pistols, followed by sub-echelon of 63rd parachute battalion of the Special brigade whose members are equipped with modern optoelectronic means MOSQUITO and DSV-12, followed by members of the second sub-echelon of 63rd parachute brigade, armed with Heckler and Koch automatic rifles and the sub-echelon of the command battalion of the Special Brigade.
Then followed flight of the group of Gama and the Mi-35 helicopters with crews from the Russian Federation.
The sub-echelon of the Guard in the line of the parade was composed of members of the Guard Battalion and the 25th Military Police Battalion.
There followed sub-echelons of the Gendarmerie, the Police Brigade, the Special Counter-Terrorism Unit, and the Police Intervention Unit. The Special Counter-Terrorism Unit of the Ministry of Interior executes the most complex security tasks of high risk in countering terrorism, as well as other missions and tasks, and is equipped with state-of-the-art weaponry and equipment of domestic and foreign production and ballistic protective equipment of foreign production.
Then followed flight of the group of MoI helicopters led by S-76 Sikorski helicopter, accompanied by Bel 212 and Gazela helicopters.
The last sub-echelon in the infantry echelon was made up of members of the MoI Sector for Emergency Management, which besides the basic fire rescue units, also has specialist rescue teams in the event of earthquakes, floods, traffic accidents and rescue in case of technical-technological accidents and accidents with hazardous materials.
In those moments, the helicopters of the Serbian Armed Forces: Mi-8, Mi-17, Gama and Gazela flew over the sky above Niš.
There followed a motorised echelon which consisted of vehicles and materiel in use in the units of the Serbian Armed Forces, MoI and weapons under development in the Serbian Defence Industry with their own resources, commanded by Brigadier General Zoran Nasković, commander of the 1st Army Brigade.
Within the sub-echelon of BMW motorcycles, 12 motorcycles, which were recently part of the Guard of the Serbian Armed Forces and nine of them from the MoI, designated for the execution of missions and tasks of traffic regulation and traffic security of VIP, were presented.
Then followed by the sub-echelon of Serbian MoI intended for patrol activities, sniper attacks, pursuits, and tasks requiring quick manoeuvres.
Then followed performance of combat vehicles of the Military Police designed for carrying out military-police tasks, armed with 7.62 mm machine guns, as well as High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV), high-speed utility vehicles whose main purpose is the support and protection of convoys.
The fifth sub-echelon was made up of anti-tank M-83 launchers, whose main purpose is to perform anti-tank operations at distances up to 3 kilometres, armed with MALYUTKA anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) systems.
The sub-echelon of the artillery unit was equipped with 152 mm NORA gun howitzers and 130 mm cannons within the equipment of the Mixed Artillery Brigade. Then passed the sub-echelon of OGANJ self-propelled multiple rocket launchers, an artillery rocket gun designed to neutralise spatial targets.
Today, in Niš, it was possible to see the sub-echelon of 250th Missile Brigade from the Air Force and Air Defence, with vehicles for the delivery and installation of rockets on the NEVA rocket launcher, with rockets that downed F-117 and F-16 aircraft during the 1999 NATO aggression, as well as vehicles for the transport and transshipment of the KUB rockets.
Within the motorised echelon, there was a sub-echelon of modern radio and radio relay means of telecommunications and mobile telecommunication-information and commutation systems, as well as a sub-echelon of means of transport led by FAP 3240 motor vehicle.
There performed a sub-echelon of new generation of artillery guns composed of NORA 155mm B52 howitzers, within the arms of the Serbian Armed Forces and the tools of ŠUMADIJA and ALAS guns, which meet the requirements of modern artillery guns with their characteristics. In the rear of the sub-echelon, there were logistic supply vehicles for NORA B guns.
Then followed assets under development, including wheeled armoured fighting vehicles LAZAR 3, command-reconnaissance armoured vehicles, PEGAS unmanned aircraft and other.
LASTA aircraft flew over echelons on the Niš boulevard, and then the Super Galeb G-4 planes.
Than performed sub-echelon of police all-terrain vehicles LANDROVER, TOYOTA LAND CRUSER utility vehicles, sub-echelons of police fighting and armoured vehicles LAZAR and MILOŠ and sub-echelon of FIAT DUCATO transport vans.
ORAO planes flew in the sky.
And in the column passed the infantry fighting vehicles of the Serbian Armed Forces armed with MALYUTKA rockets, a 20 mm cannon and a coaxial machine gun. Their modernisation is in progress.
In the rear part of the motorised echelon, a sub-echelon of 51 M-84 tanks marched powerfully preceded by a modernised Russian-made T-72 tank with a crew from the Russian Armed, which is going to be within the equipment of the units of the Serbian Armed Forces in the forthcoming period.
Commander of the aircraft echelon was Colonel Alexander Piposki, assistant AF&AD commander for operations, a pilot on the MiG-29 plane, who finally flew over the column of the parade. During the demonstration, we could see the helicopters Gama, Gazela, Mi35M, Mi-8, Mi-17, MoI helicopters S-76 Sykorski and Bel 212, trainer aircraft LASTA, Supergaleb G-4, ORAO and MiG-29.
The final part of the presentation was marked by an attractive presentation of level of training of drill actions - drill of the Serbian Armed Forces Guard, executed by 25 guardsmen with the composition The forgiveness of the Slovenian Woman compiled by Vasil Atapkin, and under the command of the drill commander, Lieutenant Predrag Kruševac.
Today's presentation in the Nikola Tesla Boulevard was also attended by the Representative Guard Orchestra, the Niš Military Orchestra and the honorary company of the Guard for the welcome ceremony for the President of the Republic of Serbia. The performances of the echelons applause were seen off by the numerous citizens of Niš and the surrounding area who attended the show today.