GLLAGOC/GLOGOVAC and VITI/VITINA, Kosovo – Soldiers from Multinational Battle Group East’s Polish Coy were tested here during a Quick Reaction Force validation exercise, Dec. 7-8.
The soldiers spent two days demonstrating their ability to react to any situation within Kosovo as third responders after the Kosovo Police and European Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo. The two-day exercise consisted of two scenarios in two different locations within MNBG E’s area of responsibility, the first of which involved ground transportation, with the second involving air transportation.
The first day’s scenario was based around a simulated vehicle rollover, with two simulated injuries, near Viti/Vitina. Upon arriving at the scene, the Polish soldiers responded immediately to the simulated injuries of both soldiers, stabilized the casualties and quickly loaded them into the ambulance and transported them back to Camp Bondsteel.
“The scenario involved a vehicle rollover due to excessive speed,” said Maj. Erick Vega, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, exercise planner for MNBG E. “The QRF was called in to secure the vehicle because it had weapons and sensitive items inside. When they arrived, they discovered the two casualties.”
“The QRF soldiers responded quickly and decisively and handled the scenario well,” Vega added.
Day two saw the QRF responding to a situation in Gllagoc/Glogovac, this time by air in two U.S. Army-piloted UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters.
“In this scenario, the locals had been using this area to dump garbage,” Vega explained. “When the [Kosovo Police] decided to shut the area down, the local residents came to protest. The crowd got violent, growing beyond the capabilities of the KP and EULEX, so KFOR assistance was requested.”
As soon as the helicopters touched down, the QRF rapidly dismounted and moved into position to disperse the notional crowd. One Blackhawk took off, but the other one remained grounded, due to a simulated malfunction.
Within moments, the QRF formed a defensive perimeter around the downed aircraft and called back to Camp Bondsteel to send a Downed Aircraft Recovery Team to get the helicopter airborne again.
In addition to the downed helicopter, the QRF was also faced with a simulated casualty. With the area already secured, Polish Army Pvt. Rafal Jagiello, the QRF’s medic, began treating the casualty as Cpl. Gregor Mojsiewicz, the QRF’s radio operator, requested a medevac.
Both the medevac helicopter and the DART arrived within an hour of being called. The casualty was loaded onto the aircraft and transported back to Camp Bondsteel. The DART fixed the downed aircraft, which was then used to transport the QRF back to Camp Bondsteel to await their next mission.
Throughout the two-day exercise, members of First Army were on hand to observe the training.
“We came to Kosovo to learn new tactics and techniques and take them back to the U.S. to teach to future rotations,” said Sgt. 1st Class Irving Domenech, Ft. Stewart, Ga., an observer controller trainer with First Army. “From my point of view, the exercise went well. Motivation was high on the parts of both the U.S. Soldiers involved and the multinational personnel. I saw very little room for improvement.”
Following the exercise, the Polish QRF will remain on standby at Camp Bondsteel, ever ready to respond if they are called upon.