CAMP NOVO SELO, Kosovo — Kosovo Force, Regional Command-East recently conducted exercise Cavalry Guardian, an emergency response training exercise, geared toward testing team cohesion, resilience under stress and job proficiency, near Camp Novo Selo on Jan. 10, 2023.
During the training, soldiers from Austria, the U.S., and Great Britain competed to provide the best reaction to an emergency scenario involving role players and emergency response personnel from KFOR.
“This training has helped us to spread awareness amongst even the lowest level of soldiers how to deal with complex road traffic accidents, especially when they involve multiple casualties,” said British Army Capt. Hugo Hunter, exercise director and safety coordinator.
During the exercise scenario, soldiers had to complete a very complex iteration with a combination of an unexploded ordnance scenario, a crime scene or weapons cache, a mass casualty event with four civilians and one KFOR Soldier.
On scene, the soldiers had to coordinate with Film City Fire and Rescue to cut out a role-playing member of KFOR who was simulating they were trapped in the crashed vehicle. Once the victim was freed, competitors requested KFOR aviation unit support to provide medical evacuation.
“[This training] is important because these guys are out patrolling every day, so this is something that they would be likely to come across,” said U.S. Army Maj. Brendan Williams, KFOR Regional Command-East Operations Officer and logistics support for the exercise. “Not to this extreme, but accidents are probably the most common thing that they are going to deal with. So knowing how to treat casualties, knowing how to get those casualties follow-on care quickly, and reporting quickly, is very important.”
The joint exercise also enhanced the interoperability of several NATO partners and allies to include the U.S., the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Slovenia, Italy, Poland, the International Military Police, Film City Fire Services and the Joint Logistics Support Group. By working together, they enhanced the readiness of both their specialties and the competitors through training and developing best practices.
“We have a pretty unique situation in Kosovo where the threat to KFOR soldiers is not as high as many other theaters and it gives us the best opportunity to practice our training, tactics and procedures, and really learn how to develop best practices,” Hunter said. “It's only through training that we better ourselves and perform to a higher standard.”
The plan is to continue to provide this vital training to soldiers of future rotations of KFOR. The exercise director, Hunter hopes it will expand to include many other countries with further iterations.
KFOR RC-East comprises 10 contributing NATO partner nations. Its mission is to maintain a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all communities in Kosovo, as mandated by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 of 1999.
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