Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

SAF marks the national Day and the Day of SAF by carrying out "Usce 2011" exercise

About 1,000 members of the SAF today the Park of Peace and Friendship on Usce, before thousands of citizens, President Boris Tadic, Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic, Minister of Defence Dragan Sutanovac, Interior Minister Ivica Dacic, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Miloje Miletic and representatives of military diplomatic corps, presented their operational capacity, of weapons, vehicles and equipment, within an attractive exercise "USCE 2011". Thus, officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers from almost all of the Serbian Army celebrated National Day and the Day of SAF- 15 February ceremoniously and diligently.

At the beginning of the exercise the audience were greeted by the commander of the exercise Major General Dragan Kolundzija, Chief of Operations Department (J-3, General Staff, announcing that the exercise would present the capabilities and operability of the Serbian Army.

- With today's exercise marking the 15th February – our National Day and the Day of the Army of Serbia, we want to demonstrate to you in practice in the field, the capabilities of declared units for participation in multinational operations, special forces, units of the aviation and river flotilla, while in the tactical-technical display you will be able to see all branches and services of the Army Serbia - said general Kolundzija.

In little more than an hour the audience had the opportunity to see segments of training and operations of all branches and services of the Army. The public were first shown the unit assigned to participate in peacekeeping missions under the auspices of United Nations, the motorized infantry company as well as an NBC protection platoon and a military police engaged to secure the convoy.

The first segment was the second mission of the Army - participation in peacekeeping operations. Observers were able to see the organization of work on the standing UN checkpoint. All activities and procedures of stopping, checking persons’ identity and vehicles were first presented, while the use of police dogs trained to find explosives, narcotics, and using force to stop those who ignored the commands of the authorized persons at a checkpoint.

Securing a convoy was the second segment of the exercises that included reconnaissance and fighter helicopters, aircraft, patrol boats ... Since this was a complex demonstration of tactical situation involving an attack on the convoy and defending it , observers were able to see the alternating performances of aviation, river flotilla, of special anti terrorist units and special medical teams for aerial evacuation.

Reconnaissance Gazelle helicopters flying low were able to check the complex situation in the country and thus broach the performance and actions of anti-tank helicopters of the same type. According to the exercise scenario, as the situation was escalating on the ground, fighter aircrafts flying low performed the two top-priority tasks. School fighter air crafts G-4 demonstrated their capabilities on ground targets while the two MiG-29 air crafts ensured protection and a safe retreat of the G4s to a higher altitude.

The demonstration of search and rescue teams as well as the sudden special brigade assaults and parachutes were entrusted to transport helicopters Mi-8. After completion of combat activities transport planes An-26 demonstrated the art of flying low over a battlefield that can be used during load ejection.

In the third segment of the exercises the audience could see the military police vehicles classified by purpose and tasks. The parade, from the direction of the hotel ''Yugoslavia'' to the confluence of the Sava into the Danube, as well as all types of vehicles available to the "black berets" units with expert commentary on the structure, organization, purpose and tasks of the Military Police

The demonstration of martial arts and actions of anti-terrorist units attracted the attention of observers, as members of the Special Brigade tried to realistically depict very real situation of close combat and the use of cold weapons. Such exercises are very important for boosting the confidence and courage of soldiers, as well as for the development of their skills and coordination, with the team and the synchronized work of all members being very important. The activities of an anti terrorist squad engaged to resolve a hostage situation was the second part of the independent demonstration of Special Brigade capabilities.

Citizens and guests had a unique opportunity to see the parade of military flags borne by cadets of the Military Academy and the flag platoons of the Army and Air Force brigades. The echelons of the Military Academy cadets carried 51 regimental flags of the Kingdom of Serbia, which are kept at the Military Museum in Belgrade.

As has already become a tradition on great military and national holidays, members of the 63rd Parachute Battalion carried out a demonstration of parachute jumps, carrying the flag of the Republic of Serbia, the Serbian Armed Forces and the Special Brigade.

The dynamic part of the program ended with the promotional flight of the aircraft Lasta.

At the tactical and technical display, as part of the "Usce 2011" exercise the resources and equipment of the Serbian Army were exhibited.

Citizens were able to see devices composing a unified stationary and mobile signaling component of the SAF, then infantry weapons infantry battalions, modern means of detection and identification, chemical and radiological detectors, car-lab for taking and analyzing contaminated samples, water tanks and other resources from the composition of the Serbian Armed Forces.

Furthermore, the display showed equipment for mountaineering, diving, parachuting, as well as weapons, forensic technology and for antiterrorist protection, including underwater weapons, standard equipment for the training of divers and a small portable hyperbaric chamber.

The spectators could also see travel cars, all terrain and armored vehicles. These vehicles are a means of transportation of more recent production from 2008 to 2010, of Skoda and Audi make, including such types as Pinzgauer, Puch and other types of terrain vehicles. As for the traffic military police and the general military police they exhibited the equipment they use, where the audience’s attention was mostly drawn to the portable x-ray for testing of suspected cases.

In the park "Usce" a field hospital designated for surgical care for injured on the ground was put up. The hospital has dental surgery, x-rays, two operation rooms, post-surgical and intensive care rooms, two patient departments, a laboratory, and everything required for normal and independent functioning of a hospital in the field. The hospital staff consists of experts who participated in international missions, both independently with the Serbian hospital in Chad, as well as in the Norwegian medical team.

Further on during the exercise, the Air Force presented the new training air craft Lasta and Mi-8 helicopters and Gazela

After looking around heavy weapons, tanks, howitzers and air defense arms, the visitors were able to try the beans cooked the Serbian way.

The overall impression of the present was that this was a very successful presentation of the capabilities and skills of the SAF, demonstrating the performance of the tasks of preserving the security of the people and government of Serbia including their contribution to preserving peace and security in the world.


- By preparing "Usce 2011" exercise our desire was to show the operational capabilities of our military. The main intention was to present to the general public for the first time the declared units participating in multinational operations – including Infantry Company, Military Police platoon and an NBC squad - said General Miletic. He added that he was glad to see that a large number of citizens had attended the exercise in the Park of Peace and Friendship in Usce.

- When it comes to the interoperability of our units, we seem to have reached a level we aspire to and we are well on our way to verify this in a proper manner. All participants in the exercise are professional soldiers - said the Chief of SAF GS LTG Miletic

When asked about providing the army with new uniforms, he said that the first contingent of seven to eight thousand uniforms is expected to be delivered by the end of March, and the rest by end of the year.


Following the exercise ''Usce 2011”, Minister of Defense Dragan Sutanovac said that the demonstration in the Park of Peace and Friendship had proved that the Serbian Armed Forces were a serious institution that has managed to restore public trust.

- The method of training implemented shows that the army is far more serious, and that the exercises are performed in a more serious way. The fact that we performed the exercise before tens of thousands of Belgrade citizens proves that this was complete success, and the great interest of the media to broadcast it shows that we have restored the trust of our citizens and the media.- said the minister.

Defence Minister added that he was glad that a large number of young people had showed up to attend the exercises at the Usce. In his opinion this means that the military enjoys the respect it deserves.

- Today we have 2.5 times more interested people in doing voluntary military service, which was the main priority-restoring people’s trust in the army.

Sutanovac congratulated the Serbian Army Day to all the members of the forces, wishing them to celebrate it in joy, to celebrate it in greater numbers next year, hoping no emergencies occur in the meantime which would require the deployment of our forces.

He added that while watching '' Usce 2011'' he liked the performance of the air force best, with helicopters and airplanes, and praised the work of synchronized operations of special brigade and military police.

- I know how hard it is to practice all these performances and carry out the exercise, so I highly commend the engagement of troops, and we will reward those who contributed the most- the minister remarked.


Minister of the Interior in the Government of Serbia, Ivica Dacic congratulated the holiday to members of the Serbian Armed Forces and Defense Ministry, stressing that the exercise "Usce 2011" was great way for the army and police to gain even greater public trust.

- Without a strong system of defense and security, there can be no strong state. It is good that this exercise was in the area that is easily accessible to citizens, all this in view of soldiers and police gaining more confidence with the citizens, as this would ensure that they carry out their constitutionally and legally prescribed duties. I am satisfied with what the army and the police have demonstrated and I think that the army and police should do such joint activities more often in order to send clear message that the military and the police serve the citizens – as Minister Dacic stated.


- Despite a cold February morning, numerous citizens of Belgrade, gathered at Usce to observe an unusual and attractive demonstration of the capabilities of our military units.

-I was most impressed with the flights of air crafts, but today the whole event was excellent and well organized - said Nikola Markovic (42). His ten-year son Stefan said that he also liked "planes and helicopters", but, nevertheless, admitted that he liked the most "guys with masks that have been practicing martial arts and throwing knives."

Milovan Nesovic (38) said that today's event was instructive and educational, especially for the young generation. According to him, such events certainly contribute to the military getting closer to ordinary citizens.

- I liked what the soldiers could do more than their weapons and equipment- Milojkovi? Aleksa (49) was sincere who estimated that the event at Usce was well-organized.

- I brought two grandchildren with me, we came a little early to take a better position and see an army. Two of them have already expressed a wish to be soldiers when the grow up, now the police forces seem weak compared to the army- said Stojan Micevski, a senior citizen from Belgrade.

All family members of the Jovanovic family today were at Usce. Holding in her arms little Jelena, her father, Dusan, said that she had been afraid of planes the past few days, but she waved all day today.

- The soldiers looked really impressive, I like how they organized the whole program. It was short but effective, just as an army should respond- said Dusan.

- I have always loved the military ever since I was a child, I planned all week to be here today. I extend my congratulations to the army and special forces for a fast and attractive program, I think that nobody can top that- says Milan Stevic (21) from Belgrade.

His friend Zarko Stojanovic (23) liked the explosions and the fact that there was shooting, only 100 meters from them.

- Our air force looked powerful, but special forces always leave the biggest impression on me.Of course, we came for the beans military style as well! - as Zarko commented honestly.