From 18th to 20th of June, the Multinational Battalion (MNBN) conducted their forward command post exercise, ZENITH. A very realistic overall scenario was chosen and provided a good opportunity to challenge the troops at every level.
The main effort was to exercise with the whole battalion and to improve the cooperation within the EUFOR Headquarters, Battalion Headquarters and the companies.
Therefore EUFORs manoeuvre unit deployed all troops to the area of Pazarić. After installing the forward command post the troops were faced with demonstrators in front of the main gate. Negotiations with the aggressive crowd failed and the Quick Reaction Force (QRF) was called to end the demonstration.
During the three days of exercise a 24 hours duty roster was installed to ensure a realistic training environment. The Multinational Battalion secured a fictive weapon storage side and did patrols in the area of Pazarić. During routine duty several incidents of varying difficulty were injected. The troops were faced with incidents ranging from low level, like unauthorised civilians who wanted to access the storage side to more challenging ones like, house searching operations executed with a whole company.
One of the highlights was the visit of the force commander on the last day of the exercise. Commander EUFOR, Major General Martin Dorfer, did an inspection on spot, to get an authentic picture of the exercise. He got a situational update at the forward command post, provided by the Multinational Battalion Staff, led by the commander, Markus Schwaiger. Afterwards Commander EUFOR also took the chance and visited the company command posts of the Hungarian Company and the Turkish Company.
LTC Markus Schwaiger the commander of the Multinational Battalion said:
The complex scenario and the number of incidents were especially demanding for the battalion command post as well as for the companies, platoons and squads. The given tasks were fulfilled positively from battalion down to squad level. Furthermore I want to highlight the attitude and the professionalism of every single soldier during the whole exercise, because this would be most important in the event of a real threat.