An Antonov 124 cargo aircraft, the world’s second heaviest aircraft, delivered tons of British military equipment and vehicles, required by the British troops supporting the European Union Force annual exercise Quick Response 2017. Shortly after the arrival of the Antonov 124 at Sarajevo airport, a Royal Air Force Voyager aircraft landed carrying British soldiers form the 1st Battalion, The Rifles, who are participating in the exercise.
Quick Response 2017 is a EUFOR-led peace support operation exercise which practices EUFOR’s capability to call in reserve forces to support and maintain a safe and secure environment in support of local authorities, law enforcement agencies and the Bosnian Armed Forces.
The international exercise involves EUFOR’s Multinational Battalion Comprising of Austrian, Hungarian and Turkish soldiers, the Intermediate Reserve Forces from the United Kingdom and the NATO Kosovo Force Tactical Reserve Battalion. EUFOR is able to draw on mobile and versatile Over the Horizon Reserve forces, if required, to augment in-theater forces and deal with any military contingency that arises as well as supporting the Ministry of Security and Ministry of Defense. The arrival of the UK military, demonstrates the UK’s ability to rapidly move of personnel and vehicles across the continent in times of unrest. The arrival of the aircraft highlights the strategic lift capability of the UK Intermediate Reserve Forces to deploy at extremely short notice in response to the request of Commander EUFOR in support of the Bosnian authorities.
One of the locations for the exercise will be Sarajevo International Airport where EUFOR will support Special Forces and the Border Police as well as the airport authorities practice some of their mandated operational training. Another training area will see EUFOR and the UK support the AFBiH to secure an ammunition storage site from potential hostile threats.
Quick Response 2017 will increase interoperability both between EUFOR forces and the Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Armed Forces and Law Enforcement Agencies.