Soldiers of B Company 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment have arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) for Exercise QUICK RESPONSE 16 and completed integration training to become part of a multinational battalion of European forces (EUFOR).
The exercise, an annual rehearsal of the rapid reinforcement process in BiH, prepares the battalion to deploy in the event of a deteriorating security situation and a request from the Bosnian authorities.
Working alongside troops from Austria and Turkey, with additional reserves from Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania, the UK contingent of 120 soldiers with 24 vehicles completed the three-day integration package at Camp Butmir, Sarajevo.
Training started with tactical demonstrations and familiarisation training, aimed at making each element of the Battalion more conversant with each others’ tactics, equipment and procedures.
It went on to cover more specific skills such as: riot control, use of the EUFOR helicopters provided by Austria, and mine awareness (BiH remains the most mined country in Europe with some 2.5% of its area considered to be a suspected legacy minefield).
With the training complete, the soldiers are now ready to conduct the first phase of the exercise, a 220km convoy north to the training area near Banja Luka. Once there it will conduct further tactical training before commencing its evaluation.
Whilst unlikely, the rising tensions in BiH surrounding the referendum and elections could prompt a request for additional operational support from the BiH authorities. If so, the UK Company will be ready to fulfil its role.