On 16th May, COM KFOR Major General Salvatore FARINA attended the Silver Sabre exercise in Camp VRELO, a Kosovo Police training site near Pristina airport.
This Crowd and Riot Control (CRC) exercise is being conducted over a three day period and involves over 500 personnel from KFOR, Kosovo Police (KP) and EULEX representatives.
The "Silver Sabre" is a biannual exercise, conducted in autumn and spring to train KFOR troops which usually rotate every six months. The last exercise was in October 2013 and since then new troops and new countries, e.g. Moldavia, have joined KFOR.
"The purpose of this exercise is to enhance KFORs capability in order to maintain the readiness of troops and increasing the operative flexibility of the unit, reduce the risk and create teams during joint rehearsals with partners of different nations", said General Farina underlining the outstanding performance conducted by KFOR, KP and EULEX troops.
General Farina thanked KP and EULEX staff for their fruitful contribution and he also underlined that "this exercise confirms the positive and close daily cooperation with Kosovo Police, EULEX in order to maintain a Safe and Secure Environment and Freedom of Movement throughout Kosovo".
The exercise was planned, organized and conducted by KFOR operations branch and the Kosovo Tactical Manoeuvre Battalion Headquarters (KTM HQ), under the coordination of the KFOR Deputy Commander, General Anton WESSELY.
"Silver Sabre" Story
The harmonization of techniques, tactics and procedures between the Kosovo Police (KP), the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) and KFOR is a fundamental objective of the "Silver Sabre" exercise.
The exercise, conducted in three phases, incorporates all three responders Kosovo Police, EULEX (only represented, no troops on the ground) and KFOR.
The first phase (14th May 2014) provided CRC theory, the second phase (15th May 2014) provided Crowd and Riot Control (CRC) practice and the final phase (16th May 2014) exercised KP, EULEX and KFOR personnel in CRC.
The exercise is designed to train in a joint environment the newly arrived KFOR troops and staff in order to enhance the specific CRC capabilities.
KFOR, as the 3rd responder in CRC situations, must ensure close co-ordination with EULEX (the 2nd responder) and with the Kosovo Police (the 1st responder).
The liaison, communication and relief in place of the various responders are a crucial part of the exercise.
The exercise scenario is based on an escalating CRC situation where the KP unit, acting as 1st responder, asked for reinforcement from EULEX and KFOR in order to avoid the escalation of violence.
This year two additional KFOR capabilities were deployed: the UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) assets for spatial air surveillance in support of command and control activities and the air lift component to transport, deploy and extract the troops during the action.