KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany (Army News Service, Aug. 8, 2011) -- Representatives of the Serbian army participated in a recent joint communications exercise with Soldiers of the 361st Civil Affairs Brigade, 7th Civil Support Command, at Daenner Kaserne here.

The purpose of the combined exercise was to demonstrate to the Serbian army the tools that will enhance their capabilities in civil military cooperation, or CIMC, operations in natural disaster and humanitarian aid missions, said Master Sgt. Gregory F. Doles, the operations noncommissioned officer for the 361st CA Bde.

In the 21st-century strategic environment, the need for humanitarian aid and CIMC is becoming more common. This is particularly true in the challenging geographical environment of the Balkans, where the Serbian army has an element of CIMC in their ranks.

The Serbian commander briefed the 7th Civil Support Command, or CSC Soldiers on how they accomplish humanitarian aid and perform CIMC operations in their country. Serbian army officers complete NATO tactical and strategic CIMC courses to prepare them for natural disasters, provide humanitarian aid as well as support the United Nations on missions abroad.

Sgt. 1st Class James R. Faulk, the operations noncommissioned officer for the 361st CA Bde., demonstrated a fully functional Secure, Non-secure Internet Protocol Router Satellite Access Point. SNAP provides secure or non-secure Internet capability over a satellite communications terminal, which is a critical capability in humanitarian aid and natural disaster missions. The event culminated with members of both armies working together to install and operate SNAP.

The Serbian army’s current system is not compatible with today’s ever advancing communications systems, making it difficult for them to execute humanitarian crisis missions at the local level. The capabilities of SNAP introduced the U.S. Army’s Serbian counterparts to advances in tactical and strategic communications systems they may use in the future.

Gen. Zvonimir Pesic, commanding general of the civil-military operations for the Serbian Armed Forces was greatly appreciative of the 7th CSC for hosting the exercise.

“We are hoping that this is going to be the basis for our cooperation in the future years,” said Pesic.