POMAZATIN, Kosovo — Commanders, leaders and staff of disaster response and security organizations in Kosovo were put to the ultimate training test April 16-27 as they reacted to a simulated 6.0 magnitude earthquake, which triggered events that showcased their emergency disaster relief and civil disturbance response capabilities.
This response and relief training comprised Silver Sabre 18-1, a biannual command-and-control and field training exercise held across Kosovo in Film City, Pomazatin, and culminated at the Slatina Military Airport in Pristina. The exercise unified the military and civil security organizations in Kosovo to a greater combined reactionary and responsive element.
“The first time, this year we have managed to involve all levels of the Kosovo Security Organizations into our exercise providing the opportunity to exercise planning and execution,” said Brig. Gen. Janos Csombok, Deputy Commander of Kosovo Forces (KFOR) and the Exercise Director of the Combined Joint Exercise Silver Sabre 18-1. “I can report to you that last week all the 15 organizations, including not only the Kosovo Security Organization, but also European Union Rule of Law Mission and KFOR units, successfully proved their capabilities, even during a 36-hour continuous operation, controlled by a joint Exercise Control Element in Film City, Kosovo.”
Silver Sabre 18-1 allowed joint military forces and Kosovo organizations to practice their real-world response techniques in a secure exercise, including mission command structures, battle tracking, and conducting air operations with units outside of Multi-National Battle Group - East.
“The bulk of the exercise's success is credited to the junior enlisted and NCOs from our headquarters and subordinate units that participated,” said Capt. Brian Sapper, Brigade Plans Officer and Engineer Officer in Charge for Multi-National Battle Group - East. “Their discipline, professionalism, and subject matter expertise lead us to successfully completing all of our tasks. I especially want to give credit to the 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, and the 3rd Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment, for their major contributions to the exercise. Finally, the multinational units we worked with did an excellent job, and I especially want to highlight the work and professionalism of the Hungarian forces in the KFOR Tactical Reserve Battalion.”
The primary mission of Silver Sabre is to increase the interoperability of the Kosovo organizations and Multi-National Battle Group allies and partners. Joint exercises provide opportunities to foster working relationships across multinational units, increase unity and improve the effectiveness of KFOR.