September 22, 2009
Two weeks ago, I jumped on a flight headed for Croatia to participate in special operations forces (SOF) Exercise Jackal Stone 2009. Although the name sounds strange (you’ve got to love how the military often throws two completely unrelated words together to name training exercises), the purpose of the exercise is quite ambitious: to promote cooperation and interoperability between the 11 participating nations. Significant is the fact that the Croatian government is hosting its first major military exercise since accession as a NATO member nation earlier this year, and that they chose to host a special operations exercise. To me, it shows the importance that the Croatians place on special operations and the value they place on increasing international military partnerships.