ZEMUNIK AIR BASE, Croatia — Jackal Stone 09, a multinational military special operations training exercise, wrapped up two weeks of intense training with a closing ceremony honoring participants here, Sept. 27.
"Dedicated planning seamlessly brought together representatives from 10 nations and allowed them to effectively execute a myriad of tasks from the air, on land and at sea," said Maj. Gen. Frank Kisner, commander, U.S. Special Operations Command Europe.
The purpose of Jackal Stone 09, co-organized by the Special Operations Battalion of General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces and U.S Special Operations Command Europe, is to enhance capabilities and interoperability amongst the participating special operations forces and build mutual respect while sharing doctrinal concepts. Brig. Gen. Drazen Scuri, deputy commander of the exercise and the senior host-nation official, said the exercise was a great opportunity for showcase Croatia as a new member of NATO.
"The exercise was the most important international exercise for Croatia during this year, the year when Croatia became a full member of NATO," Scuri said. "This was the opportunity to improve our capabilities for the Host Nation Support concept. I hope that the efforts made by the Croatian Armed Forces were successful and that all the participants have lived and worked in good conditions."
According to Kisner, Jackal Stone 09 successfully improved the ability of the participants to conduct counter-insurgency operations through a demanding, thought-provoking and realistic exercise scenario. "The payoff for such a tremendous effort is a strengthening of the collective security of every nation represented here," the general said.
During his remarks, Kisner noted the camaraderie and esprit de corps fostered over the course of the exercise.
"This exercise demonstrated our resolve to work together as allies and partners," he said. "We have learned much from each other and improved our own unique special operations capabilities while building friendships and interpersonal bonds that will enable us to confidently rise to the challenges of the future together." Jackal Stone 09 participants included: Albania, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Ukraine and the United States.