Soldiers attend a parade of "Quick Response 2018" in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on Sept. 3, 2018. EUFOR-led peace support operation exercise "Quick Response 2018" officially started with a parade on Monday afternoon at EUFOR Headquarters located in Sarajevo. (Xinhua/Haris Memija)
SARAJEVO, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- EUFOR-led peace support operation exercise "Quick Response 2018" officially started with a parade on Monday afternoon at EUFOR Headquarters located in Bosnia and Herzegovina's (BiH) capital Sarajevo.
At the opening ceremony in Camp "Butmir", COMEUFOR Major General Martin Dorfer emphasized that this year's exercise will be the largest one so far, taking place at several locations throughout BiH.
In a situation of a potential threat to the safe and secure environment, Quick Response Exercises test the complex mechanisms that can be activated and integrated with reserve troops already arranged, Dorfer explained.
"Together, we will demonstrate that the citizens of BiH can be assured of our joint and combined commitment to ensuring the safe and secure environment," Dorfer said.
Taking place from Sept. 3-7, "Quick Response 2018" practices EUFOR's capability to call in parts of their reserve forces and engage them in an international exercise. This annual international exercise involves EUFOR's Multinational Battalion, the elements of the reserve forces from Austria, Bulgaria, Italy, Romania, the United Kingdom and the NATO Kosovo Force Tactical Reserve Battalion.
"Including forces from BiH, a total of eight nations and over 1,000 troops will actively participate in Quick Response 2018, demonstrating that we are collectively unified in the primary aim of being prepared to ensure a safe and secure environment," Dorfer concluded.
BiH Minister of Defense Marina Pendes pointed out that the current security challenges threatening BiH and the region necessitate a better and closer cooperation of all relevant stakeholders in security and defense sectors, including BiH Armed Forces and EUFOR.
Pendes said that the exercise will provide the necessary tools to support BiH aspirations towards full membership in the European Union (EU) and NATO.
EUFOR is governed by the UN Security Council's executive mandate for this exercise and is required to regularly rehearse this reinforcement. This year's exercise will bring together BiH Law Enforcement Agencies, BiH Armed Forces and EUFOR, in order to test the respective contingency plans and the capability to be mutually supporting.