By Master Sgt. Donald Sparks (SOCEUR Public Affairs Office)October 13, 2009
STUTTGART, Germany -- More than 100 servicemembers assigned to the U.S. Special Operations Command Europe took part in Jackal Stone '09, a multinational special operations exercise held Sept. 10 - 27 throughout various locations in Croatia.
SOCEUR personnel provided key logistic, operational, medical, aviation, public affairs and staff support to the host nation and eight other countries participating in the exercise.
Jackal Stone, which is SOCEUR's capstone training event, brought approximately 1,500 members of special operations forces from 10 countries and members of the Croatian Ministry of Interior Special Police together to enhance capabilities and interoperability amongst the participating forces.
"This exercise rotates year to year with different host nations and we're excited that Croatia hosted this very important training event this year," said Command Master Chief Troy Ivie, SOCEUR senior enlisted leader. "It is vital that members of the special operations community know one another and work together to continue enduring friendships, increase interoperability and identify joint training opportunities with each other."
Jackal Stone '09 participants included Albania, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Ukraine and the United States.
"Dedicated planning seamlessly brought together representatives from 10 nations and allowed them to effectively execute a myriad of tasks from the air, on land and at sea," said Maj. Gen. Frank Kisner, SOCEUR commander.
Brig. Gen. Drazen Scuri, deputy commander of the exercise and senior host-nation official, said the exercise was a great opportunity for showcasing Croatia.
"The exercise was the most important international exercise for Croatia during this year, the year when Croatia became a full member of NATO," Scuri said.
Special operations units conducted fast rope insertion/exertion system training; a naval visit; board, search and seizure training; helicopter aerial refueling; water drop and free fall parachute training as part of improving tactics, techniques and procedures.
The highlight of the exercise took place on Sept. 15, when the Croatian Armed Forces hosted a Distinguished Visitor's Day in which multinational SOF teams displayed their unique skills before dignitaries from the participating countries.
According to Kisner, Jackal Stone '09 successfully improved the ability of the participants to conduct counter-insurgency operations through a demanding and realistic exercise scenario.
"The payoff is a strengthening of the collective security of every nation represented here," Kisner said.