Bosnia and Herzegovina is hosting for the first time a large-scale military exercise in which the US Armed Forces and the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina will check their readiness to respond to potential attacks. The 'Swift response 21' exercise is being carried out at 30 locations across Europe, including BiH, from May 17 to June 2.
Speaking to media at the Manjaca barracks in the north of the country, Defence Minister Sifet Podzic said that the participation of BiH Armed Forces demonstrates their readiness to take joint action with the USA and other partners.
“Also, by hosting and participating, BiH confirms and strengthens its position of a credible and reliable partner. BiH Defence Ministry confirms its ability to integrate into broader defence structures,” he stressed.
Podzic also said this is a confirmation of “friends and partners from the USA to help the process of reform, training and modernisation of Bih Armed Forces.”
Chief of the Joint Staff Senad Masovic expressed pleasure that such an important event is taking place in BiH too.
“Our exercise is a part of the ‘Defender Europe 21’ exercise, with more than 30,000 soldiers from 26 countries at 30 locations. This is some sort of the support and encouragement for BiH Armed Forces and the state of BiH in continuing the improvement of the capacities and capabilities,” he said.
The exercise will be managed by American command and its goal is to strengthen the cooperation between BiH and US Armed Forces, he added.
DEFENDER-Europe is an annual large-scale US Army-led, multinational, joint exercise designed to build readiness and interoperability between US, NATO and partner militaries.
Three members of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina unanimously approved the exercise in 2020.