Multinational training exercise Immediate Response closes out in Croatia
More than 700 Croatian, U.S. and multinational forces from six other countries concluded two weeks of intensive training at a closing ceremony here June 9.
U.S. Army Europe's 2nd Cavalry Regiment Lt. Col. Kendric Robbins salutes a Croatian Army soldier as he commends him for his outstanding performances to soldiers from eight different NATO partner nations during the closing ceremonies of the Immediate Response 2012 training event held in Slunj, Croatia, June 9.
1 photo: Lt. Col. Kendric Robbins salutes a Croatian Army soldier as he commends him for his outstanding performances
Photo 1 of 1: U.S. Army Europe's 2nd Cavalry Regiment Lt. Col. Kendric Robbins salutes a Croatian Army soldier as he commends him for his outstanding performances to soldiers from eight different NATO partner nations during the closing ceremonies of the Immediate Response 2012 training event held in Slunj, Croatia, June 9. Download full-resolution version

SLUNJ TRAINING AREA, Croatia -- More than 700 Croatian, U.S. and multinational forces from six other countries concluded two weeks of intensive training at a closing ceremony here June 9.

"After observing the international military exercise Immediate Response 12, I am positive that we can all agree that it was an absolute success," said Col. Ivan Turkalj, co-director of the exercise.

For IR12, U.S. Army Europe provided higher headquarters staff, network support, battlefield equipment and soldier tracking system, public affairs assistance, opposing forces, observer-controllers and logistical support.

"We have achieved a very high level of excellence, focusing on tactics, techniques, procedures and maintenance," said Col Andrew Heppelmann, the USAREUR G3/TREX chief and co-director of the exercise. Heppelmann noted that even minor maintenance issues were challenging to solve in a coalition environment, and exercises like this allow for issues to be identified before they occur in a coalition operation.

Started in 2006, Immediate Response is an annual European Command, U.S. Army Europe-led exercise to allow members of the five Adriatic Charter nations to work together, building trust, interoperability and promoting regional stability.

"As they get to know each other they get to understand each other and they can collectively focus on the future, not on the past," said Heppelmann. "Probably the majority of the participants in this exercise weren't even in kindergarten when the Balkan conflicts took place, and so it's time to look forward, look towards the EU, towards Western Europe and NATO. I think that's what this exercise helps them to do."

To see a complete wrap-up of all To see imagery from Immediate Response 12, visit the Immediate Response webpage at http://www.eur.army.mil/ImmediateResponse.

Visit the USAREUR photo site at: http://goo.gl/C4R2x or for videos, go to: http://goo.gl/IRuXs

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