BELGRADE, Serbia – Immediately preceded by its seventh and final planning workshop, Regional Exercise 18’s Execution Phase took place October 9 to 19 in Belgrade, Serbia.
REGEX is a NATO-supported opportunity for partner countries to plan and conduct an exercise from beginning to end and is tailored to their specific training requirements. Serbia took the lead for REGEX 18 following the successes of fellow Partner Nations Bosnia and Herzegovina (REGEX 16) and Jordan (REGEX 17).
An Allied Joint Force Command Naples J7/J9 REGEX team, headed by French Army Lieutenant Colonel Christophe Le Cerf, mentored the workshop and exercise execution where 57 participants from 16 Partner Countries, representing all four Partnership Frameworks, worked alongside 125 officers from the host nation.
"After long and extensive preparations, we begin with the stage of execution of command-staff exercises supported by computer simulations,” said Colonel Bosco Zoric, acting head of the Training and Doctrine Directorate of the Serbian General Staff and officer scheduling the exercise of REGEX 18. "Since the establishment of the REGEX Initiative, this is the fifth in a series of exercise activities conducted in NATO since 2014.”
Chief of the Serbian Simulation Training Center, Colonel Mico Brankovic, stated, "This is a multinational and multi-functional exercise whose concept supports the preparation and execution of multinational peacekeeping operation in an unstable environment, based on a comprehensive approach.”
Apart from members of Serbian Armed Forces, members of the Special Anti-terrorist Unit of the Ministry of Interior, International Organizations, the UN Office in Belgrade, UNICEF, UNHCR, OSCE, ICRC, Commissariat for Refugees and Red Cross of Serbia, all contributed to a realistic training environment.
The Distinguished Visitor Day took place on October 18 with the attendance of the Serbian Deputy Chief of Defence, Major General Petar Cvetkovic, accompanied by General Staff J2 Head, Major General Ilija Todorov, Acting Head J3, Colonel Vidakovic and Acting Head J7, Colonel Zoric. JFC Naples Assistant Chief of Staff J9, Brigadier General Reinhard Kloss, and Chief of the NATO Military Liaison Office Belgrade, Brigadier General Cesare Marinelli, were the NATO representatives, with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Major General Radovan Ilic, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* Brigadier General Orce Jordev and United Arab Emirates Brigadier General Nasser Al Oitaby were also in attendance. Major General Cvetkovic explained that REGEX has demonstrated how Serbian Armed Forces work with the International Community and International Partners. Brigadier General Kloss explained that REGEX is just one of a plethora of cooperation activities between NATO and Serbia, and that this cooperation is based on mutual respect.
The REGEX initiative supports NATO’s objectives by building Partners’ familiarity with NATO procedures, building trust and understanding, enhancing cooperation, and promoting increased interoperability. On September 24, JFC Naples started the collaborative planning process for the sixth REGEX (REGEX 19), with the execution phase scheduled for Oct 19 in the former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia*.
* Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name
Story by Allied Joint Force Command Naples J9 Military Partnership Branch