BANJA LUKA, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Representatives from 15 partner nations attended a planning workshop to prepare for Regional Exercise 16 (REGEX16) in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina, from May 23 to May 27, 2016.
During the five-day workshop, participants focused on logistics, communications and other requirements for REGEX16, which is scheduled to take place Oct. 17 to 28, 2016.
"We are putting max resources toward this because it is an extremely important exercise,” said Brig. Gen. Radovan Ilić, 6th Infantry Brigade commander. "We have great support from our Ministry of Defence, which will allow us to provide an optimal training environment for the partner nations.”
Allied Joint Force Command Naples proposed the idea of a regional exercise to meet training and interoperability requirements for NATO and its partner nations. REGEX16 will be a single service exercise with focus on organizing and conducting a regional brigade level exercise in accordance with NATO procedures and standards. It is being hosted by the BiH Armed Forces in their combat training centre and their main training area in Manjača.
"It is a great honour to have this exercise here especially as a non-NATO country," General Ilić explained. "It is significant because it shows that NATO believes we are ready and capable of doing it.”
The purpose of the exercise is to satisfy the training needs of all participants; build mutual understanding among partner nations; strengthen regional cooperation, peace and stability amongst participating countries; and improve the level of interoperability among staff, units and forces of regional partners.
The exercise will center around Peace Support Operations (PSO) under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations. It will test the execution of a scheduled operation at the brigade level in order to maintain the AFBiH 6th Infantry Brigade capacity.
"We have already been conducting PSO exercises; however, REGEX16 will be the crown of our training,” General Ilić said. "As an international exercise, REGEX16 will allow us to share information and lessons learned with partner nations.”
The overall goal of REGEX16 is for the participants to operate within a multinational brigade and work together to plan and manage a peace support operation.
Story and photos by NATO Headquarters Sarajevo Public Affairs / Technical Sergeant Michael Longoria